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Coalmine accidents are a constant occurrence in China,
where considerably the most in the world take place.
On June 3, the Chongqing Safety Supervision Bureau
confirmed that a gas incident at Yanshitai Coal Mine
in Wansheng District killed 22 workers.
Some analysts say that there is a lack of workers' safety
and health regulation enforcement, causing frequent
coal mine accidents.
On the evening of June 3, a gas explosion occurred
in Yanshitai Coal Mine.
According to authorities, of the 28 on-duty workers,
five escaped, one was injured, and 22 were killed.
On the same day, a telephone recording was posted online
which said that head of Chongqing Safety Supervision Bureau
harbored a Shanxi coalmine owner for a long period of time.
The telephone recording was from an anonymous victim
(victim A) of a coal mine incident.
His real name has been withheld for security reasons.
This person said that four Shanxi mine accidents
took place in 2006.
Five workers were killed, but the truth was concealed.
Shanxi authorities shirked responsibility and thus far
the case still hasn't been dealt with.
Coal mine victim A: "Four coal mine
accidents were covered up.
We are using different ways to expose the truth.
We revealed the truth on the Internet.
They breached the law, they should be investigated
at any time, it wasn't a matter of time."
In March, Shanghai's Oriental Outlook magazine revealed
that several coal mine accidents took place
in Shanxi's Yangquan Coal Mine.
A few workers were killed but the death toll was covered up
by the relevant responsible units.
In the same month, NTD Television was contacted
by a victim.
The victim said, "on the early morning of July 31, 2012,
an illegal pile of earth at Yili Iron and Steel Company
in Xinjiang collapsed, killing 28 workers in Zhongyu
Iron Plant located at the bottom of a mountain.
Mr. Zeng, head of Zhongyu Iron Plant: "Yili Iron and Steel
Plant was illegally mining, digging and piling the earth.
Because so much of the earth was being piled up,
around 12:30 a.m. the pile collapsed, causing a land slide
down the hill.
28 migrant workers were killed, six of whom were herdsmen."
Zeng said that after the accident, each level of government
deliberately hid the truth.
Furthermore, Zeng and other migrant workers
were controlled by the authorities.
Authorities claimed the man-made accident
was a natural disaster.
The accident still hasn't been investigated.
Locals criticized the mine owner for colluding with
local officials, treating people's lives carelessly.
A week ago, media reported that Wei Pengyuan, former
deputy chief of National Energy Administration's
coal bureau, was under investigation.
Over 100 million yuan (US$16 million) of cash
was found in his house.
Regarding this, some mine owners smiled and said that they
would happily give away several hundred million in cash
in order to obtain mining rights.
Media also reported that a financial chief in a coal mine
county was told that a mine owner obtained a high quality
mine after spending 100 million yuan.
In less than three months, someone was happy to pay him
300 million yuan to buy the mines.
This is not an isolated case.
Media reports said that majority of China's large
energy companies are monopolies.
These companies shift the cost of high raw materials
and bribing fees to China's consumers.
On the morning of April 7, a mining zone at Xiahaizi Coal
Mine in Qilin District, Qujing, Yunnan Province flooded.
China's media reported that 26 miners were working
underground and there were 21 fatalities.
Zhu Chengzhi, former director of a manganese ore mine,
said the majority of mine owners rarely invest in safety.
After the accident took place, mine owners are afraid
to take responsibility, thus they tried all means to cover it up.
Zhu Chengzhi: "The mine owners have made enough money
and have lined their own pockets.
Regarding the safety issue, some of them
don't want to spend money.
Some owners have no money to spend.
There are different reasons."
He Junqiao, a Hunan activist concerned with workers' rights,
analyzes that the causes of the accidents are neglecting
worker safety regulations enforcement
as well as mine owners' sole pursuit of profits.
He Junqiao: "All the mining companies
are after the interest gain.
Because China's mine accidents are mainly linked with
the absence of human rights enforcement."
China's mines are not only considered the deadliest
in the world, but are also ranked the highest in the world
for workers' injuries."
In 2002, China's coal mine accidents killed 6,995 people,
in 2007, nearly 3,800 miners died of mining accidents.
In 2008, a Xiangfen county, Shanxi Province waste iron ore