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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.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Hebei Coal Mine Accident Arrests

China Mining TragedySeveral people have been arrested over the deaths of eleven miners who were among fifty-six miners caught when gas exploded in a coal mine in Handan County in north China's Hebei Province on June 3 of this year.

According to a report in Xinhuanet police are still hunting the deputy head of the coalmine who went missing shortly after the tragedy.

It is indicative of the culture of coal mine owners and managers in China that in an attempt to cover up the seriousness of the tragedy initial reports from the site by management was that there was only one death involved.

China's official death toll from coal mining "accidents" was 7,200 in 2003 but informed sources quote incidents such as this as pointing to a much higher real toll, upwards of 10,000, as many incidents go unreported or are covered up by local officials.

China has however shown a willingness of late to use the full extent of the law to punish those responsible for coal mining accidents whereas prior many were given nothing but light admonishment.

Link: Additional Information Read Rating:
'Coalmine heads detained for gas blast' Xinhua Chinese News 13 June 2004