Physical Insights

An independent scientist’s observations on society, technology, energy, science and the environment. “Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Many passengers would rather have stayed home.” – Carl Sagan

The latest news in dangerous fossil fuels

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SEVENTY Chinese miners were trapped yesterday after a coal mine flooded in central Henan province, the state Xinhua news agency reported, saying rescue efforts were under way.

The miners were working at the Zhijian coal mine in Shanxian county, about 200km west of the provincial capital Zhengzhou, when they were trapped, a county official told Xinhua.

The mine, built in 1958, is state-owned.

China’s mines are considered the most dangerous in the world. More than 4700 workers were killed last year, according to official figures, although independent labour groups put deaths at up to 20,000 annually.

Of course, comparing China’s coal industry to the Western world’s is like comparing Chernobyl to an AP1000. So I won’t make that comparison.

But still, in this day and age, people don’t need to be dying in this way. It really is a tragedy.


Written by Luke Weston

July 29, 2007 at 3:03 pm

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