As claimed by the state media, a Chinese mine where 21 workers were killed on Thursday and 22 more remain trapped was being operated illegally as a year ago, it lost its license. The government of China is trying to shut down illegal mines from long time as a measure to improve the industry’s terrible safety record. And due to this measure by the government, the official death rates in the mines has come down from a high of about 7,000 in 2002 to about 2,600 in 2009. A huge rescue operation is still going on at the mine. Investigators believe a sudden release of gas into the pit trapped the miners. But there’s a conflict whether it was an explosion or a leak. However no survivors have been found as of now.
The incident happened early on Thursday at the Sizhuang mine in Yunnan province’s Qujing city. Crying and anguished relatives of the dead and injured mine workers have gathered near the mine. For years, the central government has been waging a campaign to make mines safe. Much of their focus has been closing down illegal mines, where safety standards are very much low. Mining in China is considered one of the most dangerous occupation.
Report by Indrani Chowdury