Posts Tagged ‘Chinese miners’

Chalk up another 17 dead miners.

June 1, 2010

You’d have to be pretty hard done by to want to work in a Chinese mine. I am almost certain that most people who are lucky enough to wear that particular mantle are either 1.) Desperate, or 2.) Completely unaware of just how dangerous it actually is.

In light of yet another mine blast in Central China, this time claiming 17 lives (and likely counting), I can only shake my head in complete dismay. While conditions have supposedly improved in the past few years, China’s mining industry is still without doubt, the most deadly in the world. In the past year alone, over 2600 miners lost their lives – and they’re only the ones lucky enough to be reported! With the Chinese government keeping a firm handle on all things reported, who can say how many lives were truly lost.

In my next life, please don’t let me come back as..

January 7, 2010

…A Chinese miner or perhaps worse, an employee of a Chinese fireworks factory! Friday saw yet another explosion in a Chinese fireworks factory, reportedly killing nine workers and destroying seven buildings. Obviously this is the prime time of the year for the Chinese fireworks industry, with the Chinese New Year just a month away it’s time to stockpile en masse, yet as we see almost every year – and sometimes multiple times, there seems to be little in the way of safety procedures.

Fireworks may be wonderful to look at, and the Chinese; who happened to invent them, set them off to celebrate an absolute plethora of occasions, but despite their colourful charm, they are also extremely dangerous. Only recently in Australia, a man barely survived one going off in his face, losing most of said face and a whole bunch of teeth. They’re banned in Australia for a reason – though that doesn’t stop people from trying to set off their own little shows.

While in China, I witnessed many local firework displays with absolutely no care for safety. They approached them like a child would,  excited and completely without regard for safety. I have to wonder what goes in the fireworks factories to chance set them off, and while I have no idea what caused it, my money’s on a worker taking a time-out with a cigarette, surrounded by combustibles.

Another day another mining incident.

June 1, 2009

It’s been reported that at least 30 workers are dead in a mine blast near Chongqing. Every couple of weeks something like this will occur to the point that you’d be pretty bloody desperate – or probably more accurately ; have little to no choice, when it comes to working in a Chinese mine. I would love to see the statistics for how many Chinese miners die every year as only a fraction of them would be actually reported by the Government. As China advances into the modern world, things like improving the safety for works needs to become a top priority. While terribly interesting as a culture, and on the surface appearing to becoming modern, China still has an incredibly long road to tread before it can call itself 1st world.

In my next life…

March 1, 2009

..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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