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Fewer Coalmine Deaths
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Coalmine accidents claimed fewer lives in the country last year, the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) said yesterday.

Though the 2,945 coalmine accidents killed 4,746 people in 2006, that is, 20 percent less than the previous year, they claimed an average of 13 miners' lives a day, the SAWS said.

Coal production, however, rose 8.1 percent to more than 2.3 billion tons.

The administration attributed the significant drop in the number of deaths to a series of campaigns against accident-prone small mines and its efforts to improve safety in mines.

Though the accidents claimed less than 400 lives a month last year, SAWS minister Li Yizhong, said the efforts didn't yield enough results to satisfy the people.

The number of all accident victims, including those who died in coalmines, traffic accidents and fires, dropped 11.2 percent to 112,822, the SAWS said.

More than 10 people died in 95 traffic accidents each, which were by far the biggest killers, claiming 89,455 lives. The figure, however, was 9.4 percent less than in 2005.

Though the overall situation has improved, production safety is still grim in some sectors that continued to use outdated facilities and lack safety awareness, State Councilor Hua Jianmin said at the fifth plenary session of the production safety committee, under the State Council, on Wednesday.

(China Daily January 12, 2007)

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