A coal mine explosion in northern China has reportedly claimed 11 lives, serving as a stark reminder of the nation’s persistent reliance on this energy source.
The explosion happened late on Monday in the mountainous Shaanxi province, near the ancient city of Yan’an, where mining has long been a major economic force.
The explosion, which is still under investigation, happened with 90 miners within the shaft, according to a post on social media from the provincial Department of Emergency Management.
China, the world’s largest producer and user of coal, continues to rely heavily on it for the majority of its energy needs, despite quickly integrating wind and solar power.
Since the February collapse of an open-pit mine in Inner Mongolia’s northern province, which claimed more than 50 lives, the catastrophe was the deadliest.
Despite calls for safety reforms from officials as high as Chinese Premier Xi Jinping, mining enterprises that regularly cut shortcuts while local officials look the other way appear to have received little attention.
Several fatal industrial and construction accidents have occurred in China in recent months, frequently as a result of inadequate safety training and regulations, official corruption, and corporate profit-seeking.
Despite the prominent instances, the Ministry of Emergency Management said that in 2022, when a large portion of China’s economy was shut down under its „zero COVID” policy, the overall number of industrial accidents decreased by 27%.
The ministry reported a 23.6% decrease in fatalities.