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China to close 5,000 small mines over safety concerns

(Xinhua)    20:14, March 04, 2015

BEIJING, March 4 -- The State Administration of Work Safety on Wednesday vowed to close at least 5,000 small mines, which is equal to 5 percent of the nation's mines, to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities in 2015.

A 2007 regulation defines serious accidents as those causing 10 to 30 deaths, 50 to 100 serious injuries, or direct economic losses of between 50 million yuan (8.13 million U.S. dollars) and 100 million yuan.

Extremely serious accidents kill more than 30 people, seriously injure 100, or cause more than 100 million yuan in losses.

Many small mines were lambasted by the administration for using substandard technology and equipment, which made them unfit places of work.

China's workplace safety record has improved in recent years with accidents and fatalities both down, said director of the administration Yang Dongliang in January during a work meeting in Beijing.

Yang attributed the progress to better supervision and enforcement; harsher punishment; as well as better infrastructure.

There were 269,000 accidents nationwide in the first 11 months of 2014, down 4.7 percent from the same period in 2013. Fatalities dropped by 6.1 percent to 57,000.

Media reports said that for the whole of 2014, accidents and fatalities had decreased by 3.5 percent and 4.9 percent from 2013, without providing the exact numbers.

As of the end of last year, China had seven national mine accident rescue teams, 14 regional rescue teams, 16 rescue teams established by state-owned companies and 10 rescue training centers, according to Yang. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Zhang Yuan,Bianji)

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