Monday, March 22, 2004

Deadly Chinese Coal Mines

Yet another in a series of depressing articles about workers dying in coal mines in China:
Miners occupy the treacherous underside of China's economic ascent. As factories on the bustling coast churn out goods for the world, and as urbanites move into high-rise apartments and buy new cars, miners are bearing the often deadly burden of extracting the resources needed to keep the lights on and the machinery turning. By the government's own reckoning, more than 6,700 miners died in accidents last year, about 18 per day -- and experts say the real figure is probably twice that. The fatality rates in China's mines are as much as 350 times those in the United States and Britain, according to government reports.