Learning Lessons from Coal Mine Disasters in Shanxi and West Virginia

Abstract On 14 June 2012, the Xiangning County Court in rural Shanxi sentenced nine defendants to jail for their part in the Wangjialing coal mine disaster in which 38 miners died two years earlier. Eight of the defendants were sentenced to three years imprisonment while Jiang Shijie, the head of the construction team deemed most at fault for the flooding disaster, was given a four year jail term. The Shanxi Administration for Coal Mine Safety had earlier fined the mine owner, Huajin Coking Coal Co. Ltd., 2.25 million yuan, while the construction company that was responsible for the digging work that caused the flooding, China Coal First Construction, was fined 2.1 million yuan. The Wangjialing disaster occurred on 28 March 2010. Eight days later, in the afternoon of 5 April 2010, a massive coal dust explosion ripped through the Upper Big Branch Mine in the American coal heartland of West Virginia, killing 29 miners and injuring two others. It was the worst coal mine disaster in the United States for 40 years.
Date 2010 06 25
Publisher China Labour Bulletin
Link http://www.clb.org.hk/en/node/110083
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2 Coal, 2.4 Coal and Workers