China's coal mine accidents, fatalities drop in 2009

14:49, January 20, 2010      

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China reported 1,616 coal mine accidents in 2009, down by 338 compared to the year before, a source from the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety (SACMS) has said.

Accidents caused 2,631 deaths, also down by 584 year-on-year, said SACMS Director Zhao Tiechui while addressing a national meeting on workplace safety held in Beijing Tuesday.

Most coal-producing provinces saw a year-on-year decrease in coal mine accidents, according to the SACMS source.

But Zhao warned the country's small coal mines, which produce 35 percent of the country's coal, were responsible for 70 percent of the fatalities.

The SACMS director pledged to reduce the number of small coal mines to number below 10,000 by the end of the year. A total of 1,088 small coal mines were closed last year.

The country also cut 50 million tonnes of outdated annual coal production capacity in 2009, according to the administration source.

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