In my next life…


..please don’t let me come back as a Chinese miner! The final body from the Tunlan Coal Mine explosion in Northern China’s Shanxi Province has been located, bringing the total number of miners killed to 78. 358 managed to survive the gas explosion, many suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

When events like this happen, while tragic, the media loves to run away with the statistics. They’re always excited to cover the ‘biggest’ or ‘worst’ or ‘longest’ statistic since last year/decade/century. Recently with the Australian heatwave in Victoria, and the bushfires thereafter, the media was in a frenzy. “This was the longest heatwave since records began, in 1876!!!” or somesuch. “The most killed in bushfires in Australia’s history!!” Tragic incidents, but the media lives for such events.

In poor old China however, mine disasters are so frequent that well – there’s just no real historical outlet to compare it to. This most recent mine disaster was the worst since….last year. Last year! These damned things happen multiple times a year. Last year alone some 5000 miners were reportedly killed in incidents alone – and that’s only reported! Who knows the actual figure.

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