Second Coal Mine Accident in China’s Qujing City Kills 13

Thirteen people were killed in a coal mine explosion in Qujing in China’s southern province of Yunnan today, the second deadly colliery accident in the city this month.

The blast incurred at 12:30 a.m. at an underground mine in Fuyuan County, leaving one person trapped, according to a statement on the website of the China State Administration of Work Safety. It follows a coal mine flooding in the city’s Qilin District on April 7 that left 21 dead. China is the world’s biggest coal producer.

The incidents come after China’s Premier Li Keqiang in December ordered efforts to be intensified to improve work safety across the nation’s industries, emphasizing accident prevention and regular safety inspections. Coal mine accidents alone killed 839 people in China in the first nine months of last year.

Coal mining deaths have been falling in recent years. The toll in 2012 was 1,384, versus 1,973 the year before and 2,433 in 2010, according to the work safety administration’s website. The U.S., the world’s second-biggest coal producer, had 48 deaths in 2010.

China aims to close as many as 1,000 small coal mines this year to improve safety, the administration has said.

In another incident, five died at a coal mine in Yunnan’s Shaotong City on March 31.

— With assistance by Helen Yuan

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