Fatalities in Chinese Mine Explosion Climb to 108

The Xinhua News Agency reported that 108 miners died as a result of a gas explosion at the state-run Xinxing mine in Hegang, China, which lies near the Russian border.

Chinese authorities blamed crowded conditions, insufficient ventilation and slow rescue efforts for the high death toll from the explosion, which hit before dawn on November 21, 2009. More than 500 miners were underground when evacuation began.

Year-to-date, the Xinxing mine, produced more than 1 million metric tons of coal. It is owned by the Heilongjiang Longmei Mining Holding Group, making it larger than most operations where colliery accidents occur. In the first half of this year, 1,175 people died in officially recorded coal mine accidents across China, a decline of 18.4% compared to the same time last year, according to the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety. An explosion in a mine in central Henan province in September left 79 workers dead or missing and likely dead. In 2005, a coal mine explosion in northeast Liaoning province killed 214.

As featured in Womp 2009 Vol 10 - www.womp-int.com