Worldwide Locations

Worldwide Locations

What About China?




A Chinese miner takes a break as he unloads coal from a train in Hefei, in eastern China's Anhui province on August 4, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A Chinese miner takes a break as he unloads coal from a train in Hefei, in eastern China's Anhui province on August 4, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Recently, a number of Chinese miners had been trapped underground in Henan Province, 37 of whom died. While the world cheered the dramatic rescue of miners in Chile, China's trapped miners were left underground, and under-reported.

BBC reported that some 300 rescuers had been working since Saturday to reach the men after a gas leak at the pit in Yuzhou. As one of the world's most dangerous mining industry, China's mines have taken the lives of more than 2,600 miners alone in accidents in 2009.

Many mines in China have been operated illegally. Since 70 percent of the country's energy needs come from coal, migrant workers with limited training have found job opportunities through these avenues. But their safety is taken lightly.

Despite warning Pingyu Coal & Electric Co Ltd, the company owning the colliery, the alert was ignored. The gas concentration inside the mine was 40 times higher than acceptable levels.

Even though the Chinese government has shut down more than 1,000 illegal collieries, safety standards for operating pits are largely ignored and disobeyed. The mining industry in Chile has brought about change in not just collieries and oil refineries in the country, but the entire country seems to have reborn. Unfortunately for China, even drastic accidents don't seem to be getting enough attention in the media to raise hopes for collieries and bring about social change in the country.

What would it take to shed light on China's mine safety rules to acceptable standards? Share your thought below:

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