A coal mine blaze killed 24 workers and left 52 injured in northwest China on Wednesday, government sources said. The accident took place in a state-owned Fuxin Coal Corporation in Liaoning province, The Times of India reports.
The government did not release the reasons behind the fire but it highlighted lax safety standards in China’s coal mining sector which is plagued with regular occurrences of accidents and deaths.
Last April, 20 people died when a coal mine in southwest Yunnan province suddenly flooded, leaving miners trapped. This was followed by the death of 22 people in an accident at a coal mine in the southwest city of Chongqing.
A total of 1,049 people were killed or declared missing in 589 mining-related accidents in China, according to official statistics. But this number marked a 24 per cent reduction accidents and fatalities compared to 2012.
Intense government inspection and punishment of derelict officials and illegal mine owners had some impact on safety standards but the latest incident in a state-owned company showed China has a long way to go before safety is ensured in Chinese mines.
One of the measures adopted by the government is shut down small mines, a major source of accidents, in an effort to consolidate the industry.