China says it saw a drop in mining deaths in 2013

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Associated Press

Posted on January 4, 2014 at 7:03 AM

Updated Saturday, Jan 4 at 10:06 AM

BEIJING (AP) — Safety at China's coal mines improved in 2013, with the numbers of accidents and deaths decreasing from the previous year, the government said Saturday.

China has the world's deadliest coal mines, and authorities have made it a priority to improve safety by enforcing rules.

The central government said there were 589 mining accidents last year, leaving 1,049 people dead or missing. It did not give prior-year figures, but said the numbers declined by more than 24 percent.

Industry reports from a year ago say more than 1,300 people died in mining accidents in China in 2012 and 1,973 died in 2011, according to the State Administration of Work Safety. Both figures do not include missing people.

Last month, a gas explosion at a coal mine in western China's Xinjiang region killed 22 people in one of the deadliest accidents of the year.

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