2013 killed at least 1,000 people in coal mine accidents in China.
Chinese state media said at least 22 people were killed in an accident at a coal mine in the Southwest.
Reports says that the accident was caused by an explosion.
Last year, died or disappeared at least 1,000 people due to accidents in Chinese coal mines.
However, the number of accidents was reduced by 20% compared with 2012.
A mining accident is an accident that occurs during the process of mining minerals. Thousands of miners die from mining accidents each year, especially in the processes of coal mining and hard rock mining. Most of the deaths nowadays occur in developing countries, especially China and rural parts of developed countries.
Mining accidents can have a variety of causes, including leaks of poisonous gases such as hydrogen sulfide or explosive natural gases, especially firedamp or methane, dust explosions, collapsing of mine stopes, mining-induced seismicity, flooding, or general mechanical errors from improperly used or malfunctioning mining equipment (such as safety lamps or electrical equipment). Use of improper explosives underground can also cause methane and coal-dust explosions.
On April 26, 1942 in the Benxihu (Honkeiko) Colliery (coal mine), what is believed to have been the world's worst mining disaster took place, killing 1,549 miners. The disaster occurred in an area that is now within the bounds of modern-day China, but was then in a portion of China occupied by the Japanese, just north of present-day Korea. The Japanese administrators of the mine had the actual mining work performed by forced Chinese labor under harsh conditions. The disaster first began with a mine fire, but at the time, a hasty decision was made by the Japanese mine operators to promptly cut off the ventilation and to completely seal off the mine to kill the fire. This reportedly left many unevacuated workers still alive within the sealed-off area of the mine to eventually also suffocate. Once the fire was put out in this manner and the mine re-opened, it took 10 days to remove all of the bodies. Of those killed, 1,518 were Chinese, and 31 were Japanese. Afterwards, several bodies were buried in a mass grave. According to a followup investigation carried out by the Soviet Union, the majority of the fatalities were not caused by the initial fire, but instead were the result of secondary carbon monoxide poisoning and suffocation.
21st century worst mining disaster
See also 21st-century mining disasters
- January 30, 2000: Baia Mare cyanide spill took place in Baia Mare, Romania. The accident, called the worst environmental disaster in Europe since Chernobyl, was a release of 100,000 tons of cyanide contaminated water by an Aurul mining company due to reservoir broke into the rivers Someş, Tisza and Danube. Although no human fatalities were reported, the leak killed up to 80% of aquatic life of some of the affected rivers.
- April 5, 2010: Upper Big Branch Mine disaster, West Virginia, United States. An explosion occurred in Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal. Twenty-nine out of thirty-one miners at the site were killed.
- November 19, 2010: Pike River Mine disaster in New Zealand. At 3:45pm, the coal mine exploded. Twenty-nine men underground died immediately, or shortly afterwards, from the blast or from the toxic atmosphere. Two men in the stone drift, some distance from the mine workings, managed to escape. (Extract from Royal Commission of Enquiry Report on Pike River.)
- May 13, 2014: Soma mine disaster took place in Soma, Turkey. The accident, called the worst mining accident ever in Turkey, and it is the worst mining accident in 21st century so far. 301 people died.