Safety at coal mines comes under scrutiny

Up to 15 serious labour safety violations at coal mines in northern Quang Ninh Province were reported in the first nine months of this year, leaving 18 people dead and injuring dozens more, Lao Dong newspaper reported. In August alone, there were five incidents, leaving six miners dead. The accidents are on the rise with an increase of two cases and three deaths compared to the same period last year. Quang Ninh Province currently has 30 coal mining units with hundreds of mines and about 40,000 coal miners working. With increasing areas of exploitation and tougher mining conditions, ensuring labour safety remains a big challenge for the local industry. According to the provincial Department of Labour, Social Invalids and Society, the main reason for serious coal mine accidents was coal mine collapses and water breaking out, resulting in rocks and soil falling and trapping workers. Mine collapses and water incidents cause about 45 per cent of accidents annually.

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