China mine blast toll tops 100

More than 400 rescued after gas explosion but 104 dead and four still missing.

    The authorities are still searching for at least four miners still missing or unaccounted for [Reuters]

    There were reports quoting an unnamed employee as saying that the mine's director, deputy director and chief engineer had been fired after the incident.

    But Zhang Jinguang, a spokesman for the mining company, told reporters it was an act of nature, and not caused by human error.

    "There was no sign that this accident might happen. If there had been, we could have controlled it. On top of that, as I just said, it was a huge and sudden coal and gas explosion like a bomb," he said.

    "Development is important, but the growth of GDP shouldn't be achieved at the price of miners' blood"

    Li Zhanshu, Heilongjiang provincial governor

    Still, Saturday's incident at the nearly 100-year-old mine near the Russian border once again highlighted how heavy demand for power-generating coal in the world's third-largest economy has sometimes come at a high human cost.

    Li Zhanshu, the provincial governor, urged officials to better manage coal mines.

    "Development is important, but the growth of GDP shouldn't be achieved at the price of miners' blood," he said.

    The deadliest accident in China's mining industry in two years was a blow to the central government's efforts to improve safety in the world's deadliest mine industry.

    Hundreds of smaller, private mines have been shut down or absorbed into state-owned operations.

    Compared to other manual jobs, Chinese coal miners can earn relatively high wages, tempting workers and farmers into rickety and poorly-ventilated shafts.

    In the first half of the year, 1,175 people died in officially recorded coal mine accidents across China, a fall of 18.4 per cent compared to the same time last year, according to the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Death from above: Every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.