171 miners confirmed dead at Heilongjiang coal mine

Altogether 171 miners were confirmed dead at a state-owned coal mine in Heilongjiang by 5 December following a week-long rescue work. The dead include 169 miners working underground and two others working on the ground generator room.

The blast went off on 27 November at the Dongfeng Coal Mine, run by the Qitaihe branch of the Longmei Mining (Group) Co., Ltd., in Heilongjiang. The latest figures show that 242 miners were working underground when the explosion occurred, and only 73 of them escaped.

Heilongjiang Provincial Governor Zhang Zuoji said on 6 December that a provincial-level emergency aid center would be established which would "focus on rescue work, including facilitating alarm information, arousing rescuers and providing rescue materials."

Saying that rescuers should launch emergency rescue operations efficiently to minimize losses when faced with disasters, the provincial governor criticised that "the managing staff in the Dongfeng Coal Mine failed to manage rescue work efficiently."

Coal mine accidents that caused over 100 deaths (updated as of 6 December 2005)



Number of Deaths

27 February 1950

Yiluo Coal Mine, run by Xinyu Coal Mine Co. Ltd, Henan Province


9 May 1960

Laobaidong Coal Mine, Datong, Shanxi Province


27 September 2000

Muchonggou Coal Mine, Shuicheng, Guizhou Province


20 June 2002

Chengzhihe Coal Mine, run by Jixi Mining Group, Heilongjiang Province


20 October 2004

Daping Coal Mine, Zhengzhou Coal Mine Group, Henan Province


28 November 2004

Chenjiashan Coal Mine, Tungchuan, Shaanxi Province


14 February 2005

Sunjiawan Coal Mine, Fuxin Mining Group, Liaoning Province


7 August 2005

Daxing Coal Mine, Huanghuai Town, Xingning City, Meizhou City, Guangdong Province


27 November 2005

Dongfeng Coal Mine, run by Qitaihe branch of the Longmei Mining (Group) Co., Ltd, Heilongjiang Province


Sources: Xinhuanet (6 December 2005), China Labour Bulletin

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