At least thirty four miners lost their lives and one is still missing in China after two accidents occurred in the southwest Yunnan Province.
According to a Xinhua report, the first mining accident that occurred on April 7th, at the Xiahaizi coal mine, in the city’s Qilin District, left 21 dead and one missing.
Last Sunday, a spokesman with the Qujing municipal government revealed that eleven local officials in charge of work safety have been removed or suspended from their posts, after seven people, including the board chairman; the legal representative and the manager of the coal mine were detained by police.
According to the report by Bloomberg, the second coal mine accident occurred yesterday.
One person was trapped and thirteen were killed in the explosion in a pit of Hongtutian Coal Mine in Fuyuan County.
This is not the first time miners have lost their lives in China’s coal mines. The country tops the list of coal mining fatalities on a global scale, since mine operators often skirt safety regulations. Estimates say that over 3,000 miners die in the mines of China each year. Most of the fatalities occur in coal mines.
China’s Premier Li Keqiang in December ordered mine operators to improve work safety and implement strategies to prevent accidents, announcing stricter regulations and regular safety inspections.
According to available statistics, 839 people lost their lives in the coal mines of China in the first nine months of last year alone.