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UPDATED: 10:16, January 17, 2005
137,000 killed in accidents in China in 2004
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A total of 136,755 people were killed in traffic, work-related and other accidents in China last year, said a senior official with the State Administration of Work Safety Monday in Beijing.

The death toll, however, marked a 0.23 percent decrease, or 315 fewer fatalities, compared to 2003, said Liang Jiakun, deputy director of the administration at a press conference held by the Information Office of the State Council, China's cabinet.

China reported a total of 803,571 accidents of various kinds last year, down 16.22 percent year-on-year.

Road accidents claimed 107,077 fatalities, up 1.78 percent, or 1,875 more deaths compared to 2003, according to Liang.

During the period, China reported four civil aviation accidents, causing 61 fatalities, while in 2003, there was only one civil aviation accident with no deaths.

"During the fourth quarter of last year, devastating accidents occurred one after another," said Liang. "We have been busily investigating these accidents."

Liang said China has set the goal to reduce the number of devastating accidents, which caused ten or more deaths each, by 5 percent this year. China also strives to lower the growth rate of deaths from road accidents by 1.5 percentage points.

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