MAC: Mines and Communities

Lift collapse kills at least 26 Chinese miners

Published by MAC on 2009-10-13
Source: Al Jazeera (2009-10-09)

The collapse of two elevators at a tin ore mine in central China has claimed the lives of 26 miners, in the latest fatal accident to hit China's mining industry.

According to Chinese state media the brakes failed on the elevators causing them to crash, killing 19 miners immediately.

Seven others died later of their injuries, while another five were being treated in hospital.

China's mining industry is the world's most dangerous with explosions and other accidents claiming more than 3,000 lives last year - an average of 13 every day.

Most accidents are caused by a failure to follow safety rules, including a lack of required ventilation or fire control equipment.

However, recent efforts by the government to crack down on mine safety - including the closure of many small, dangerous mines - appear to be having some effect.

According to official reports the average number of miners killed so far this year has been halved to around six a day.

Nonetheless labour rights groups say the real death toll may be far higher, with many accidents covered up or unreported by mine owners working in collusion with local officials.

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