FORTY-TWO COAL MINERS DIE IN COAL MINING ACCIDENTS IN 32 DAYS

Several days ago, I posted about the number of coal miners that had died during the 25 day period from January 26, 2013 to February 19, 2013. During those 25 days, six coal miners, including, four from West Virginia, one from Kentucky and one from Illinois, died in mining accidents.

It was reported that those deaths were the highest number of coal miners to die during a short period of time since the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion. During that coal mine accident, 29 coal miners died, and approximately another 20 were injured. As you may know, we represented numerous victims of the Upper Big Branch coal mining accident.

Well, it turns out that the Chinese coal miners have it even worse than our coal miners when it comes to coal mining accidents. During the four days from February 26, 2013 to March 1, 2013, thirty-one Chinese coal miners died in coal mining accidents. On February 26, 2013, twenty coal miners were killed when a steel cable pulling a carriage filled with coal miners broke in the Gansu Province. Twenty coal miners plunged to their death in that coal mine accident. Three days later, on March 1, 2013, eleven coal miners died in a Hebel Province coal mine. An air compressor ignited and the fire spread inside the coal mine. Similarly, in the Philippines, on February 14, 2013, five coal miners died when their Semirara coal mine suffered a roof collapse.

Last year in China, 1,384 coal miners died in mining accidents. At the same time, 36 miners died in both coal mine accidents (19 deaths) and metal mine accidents (17 deaths) in the United States. Out of the 19 coal mining accident deaths in the United States last year, seven happened in West Virginia coal mines. Comparing the number of coal mining accident deaths between two countries is an apple to oranges type of comparison due to the size of the countries, the number of mines and miners, and a whole host of other factors. It is clear, however, that the 41 coal miners that died during the 32 days, of January 26, 2013 to March 1, 2013, is a record that should not be repeated.

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