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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Three killed, 3 missing in Xinjiang mine blast

China Daily

Mining Tragedies "Three miners were confirmed dead and three others still missing in a gas explosion that occurred Friday night in a coal mine in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. "

To the best of my knowledge this is the second mining disaster in Xinjiang in the last month. On March 9 this year 7 miners were killed in Zepu County Xinjiang. A quick search on Google showed many others over the years. Each has resulted in numerous deaths and injuries.

In a BBC article entitled China Admits Grim Safety Record a Chinese Official stated that in 2000 there were 5300 mining deaths and the then the Year to Date October 2001 figures were 4500. If you visit the BBC link you will see links to other stories about similar mining disasters and promises from officials to investigate and rectify obvious inherent problems in the industry. One of the earlier articles suggested that the real casualty figures are greater than 10,000 deaths per annum.

The Governments of the free world and companies doing business in Xinjiang should also be asking questions and threatening sanctions. This is an horrendous loss of life.

China must be called on to convene an investigative commission immediately to analyse work place safety in the industry and to implement rapid and across the board changes to rectify this incredible state of affairs.

This is getting like something you expect to read in a Charles Dickens novel. Some horror story from the coal pits of 19th century England not worker's conditions in the 21st Century