Timeline of mining disasters
CBC News Online | January 5, 2006
China's mines are by far the world's most dangerous. About 6,300 people were killed in 2004 in floods, explosions and fires in China's mines.
A rescuer prepares to work at the Sunjiawan colliery in Fuxin, northeast China's Liaoning province a day after an explosion killed at least 203 miners.(AP Photo)
China's poor record with mine safety is a long one. In 1942, an accident killed 1,549 miners in Japanese-occupied Manchuria in China's northeast, still the world's worst coal mining disaster.
Here is a timeline of some of China's mining fatalities since 1990:
Jan. 5, 2006:
China announces it will close 5,290 coal mines in a safety crackdown following a series of inspections during 2005. The government also announced plans to inspect 12,000 mines during 2006. China has about 34,000 coal mines. More than two-thirds are small mines producing 10,000 to 30,000 tons of coal a year.
Dec. 10, 2005:
Two mine managers are arrested in connection with a blast that killed 166 coal miners a year earlier. The explosion ripped through the Chenjiashan Coal Mine in the northwestern city of Tongchuan on Nov. 28, 2004. An explosion at the same mine three years earlier killed 38 people.
Dec. 7, 2005:
At least 54 people are killed and another 22 injured after an explosion rips through a coal mine in the city of Tangshan, east of Beijing in Hebei province. Officials say 123 miners were underground at the time of the blast.
Nov. 27, 2005:
An explosion at the Dongfend coal mine in northeastern China kills at least 161 workers. After three days of searching through the debris of the collapsed mine, officials were unable to agree on how many miners were still missing. Estimates ranged between 10 and 33. More than 70 miners were rescued. Some had been trapped for up to 17 hours, breathing through damp towels to avoid inhaling toxic gases.
July 12, 2005:
An explosion in the Shenlong coal mine in the western Xinjiang region of China
leaves at least 65 miners dead.
March 21, 2005:
At least 65 people are killed in an explosion in the Xishui coalmine in Shanxi
province. The blast kills 46 people in the mine itself and collapses a
wall in a neighbouring mine, killing another 19 miners. The four owners
of the Xishui mine are detained. The mine was ordered closed in November
over safety problems.
Feb. 14, 2005:
At least 203 people are killed in a gas explosion at the Sunjiawan mine in
northeastern Liaoning province. The explosion occurs 10 minutes after an
earthquake shook the mine.
Dec. 13, 2004:
A fire in the Xinli coal mine in Hunan province kills 18 people.
Dec. 9, 2004:
A gas explosion in a coal mine in northern Shanxi province kills 28 miners.
Five others die during a rescue attempt.
Nov. 28, 2004:
In China's worst mining disaster in four years, 166 people are killed in
a gas explosion at the state-owned Chenjiashen coal mine in Shanxi province.
The explosion killed 25 miners immediately and another 141 were killed by
poison gas. Another 127 workers survived.
Nov. 21, 2004:
A fire that sweeps across a series of iron mines in the northern Hebei city
of Shahe kills 49 miners.
Nov. 11, 2004:
A blast at the Xinsheng coal mine in Henan kills at least 33 miners.
Oct. 20, 2004:
An explosion at the Daping mine in Henan province kills 148 people.
Feb. 23, 2004:
All 37 miners are killed after a gas blast in a substandard pit due for closure
in Heilongjiang province.
Nov. 14, 2004:
A gas explosion kills 48 miners at the state-owned Jianxin Coal Mine in Jiangxi
Aug. 11, 2003:
An explosion in a coal mine in Shanxi province kills 37 workers.
May 13, 2003:
A gas explosion kills 86 miners at the Luling coal mine in Anhui province.
March 24, 2003:
An underground explosion at the Mengnanzhuang mine in Xiaoyi kills 72 workers.
Feb. 24, 2003:
At least 35 miners are killed at the Muchonggou mine in Liupanshui in Guizhou
Oct. 23, 2002:
A gas explosion at a state coal mine in Shanxi province kills 36 miners.
July 8, 2002:
An explosion kills at least 44 miners in the Dingsheng coal mine in Heilongjiang
June 22, 2002:
An electrical fire ignites explosives at a gold mine in Yixingzhai, Shanxi
province, killing 46 miners.
June 20, 2002:
A blast kills 111 miners and four rescue workers in Chengzihe mine in Heilongjiang
July 22, 2001:
A blast kills 92 miners in an illegal coal pit in Jiangsu province.
July 17, 2001:
Floods kill 80 miners in three adjacent tin mines in Nandan province in the
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Sept. 27, 2000:
A gas explosion traps 162 miners in Muchonggou coal mine in Guizhou in the
south west. The miners die despite efforts to keep them alive with food and
water sent down a long iron pipe.
Jan. 24, 1998:
A blast and mine-shaft fire at Wangjiaying coal mine in northern Liaoning
province kills 77.
May 28, 1997:
A gas explosion kills at least 60 miners in the Beilongfeng coal mine in
March 4, 1997: Gas explosions kill 89 miners in three privately run
coal mines with connecting shafts in Pingdingshan in Henan province.
Nov. 27, 1996:
A gas explosion kills 91 people at a coal mine at Guojiayao in Shanxi province.
Jan. 24, 1994:
An explosion kills 79 miners at a coal mine in the northeastern Heilongjiang
April 21, 1991:
An explosion kills 147 coal miners at the Sanjiao River mine in northern
Aug. 8, 1990:
The flooding and collapse of a mineshaft kills 56 illegal miners in Chenxi
county. The mine had been shut down before the incident.