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Mine safety depends on strict supervision, not owners' morals

(China Daily)
Updated: 2016-11-04 09:51
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    Rescuers work at Jinshangou Coal Mine in Yongchuan District of Chongqing, southwest

China, Nov. 1, 2016. Eighteen miners have been confirmed dead after an explosion

 at the coal mine in Chongqing Monday morning. [Photo/Xinhua]

    THIRTY-THREE PEOPLE were killed in an explosion in a coal mine in Jinshangou, in Southwest China, on Monday. An investigation into the accident found that the owner of the coal mine falsified materials submitted to supervisors and dug for coal in prohibited areas.

    China Youth Daily comments:

    The coal mine is a legal one, and it had just passed a security inspection not long before. However, the supervision failed to prevent the tragedy from happening.

    More information shows that the coal mine falsified the materials it submitted to the supervisors. According to reports, the coal mine managers submitted construction drawings as required, but they made the miners dig in areas where it is forbidden. The moment they decided to do so, the tragedy was preordained, because the forbidden areas cannot ensure safety.

    A gas explosion in a mine can be prevented if the safety guidelines are strictly followed. The Chongqing municipal authorities emphasized the need for mine safety in April and August, yet the Jinshangou coal mine owner has chosen profit over safety.

    The solution lies not in expecting the mine owners to act in a moral way; the solution lies in strengthening supervision and filling in all the loopholes in the country's existing safety system.

    Records show the coal mine suspended production in the illegal areas this April, but soon resumed less than one month later. So it is necessary for the investigators to find out whether the local supervisors discovered the mine owner's illegal actions in April.

    If the local supervisors found the illegal actions of the coal mine in April, but allowed it to continue after suspending production for a few weeks, an investigation should be launched to find whether there was any interest link between them and the coal mine. If the local supervisors were totally ignorant of the problem, they should strengthen their supervision.

    Some might argue this is too strict with the supervisors, but being not strict with them could cost lives. It is time to strengthen supervision and hold answerable both the mine owners that break the rules and the supervisors who fail to do their duty, so as to better ensure safety and protect lives.

 

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