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Gov't Demands Action on Work Safety

The work safety committee under the State Council, China's cabinet, on Thursday urged relevant authorities to take urgent actions to curb the spate of accidents that have rocked China in recent weeks.

The committee said in a circular that thorough investigations must be carried out to find the causes of the accidents. It said that those people guilty of corruption and neglect of duty must beheld to account.

Investigations must be finished into at least some of the major accidents and the results must be made public, the circular says.

China has seen a spate of major accidents in the last few weeks.

On October 28, 13 workers were killed in northwest China's Xinjiang region when the oil tank they were painting exploded.

On Nov. 5, a gas explosion in the Jiaojiazhai colliery in Datong city of north China's Shanxi Province killed 47 miners.

On Nov. 12, 34 miners were killed in Nanshan colliery of Lingshi County, also in Shanxi, when a fire broke out in the pit.

Figures from the State Administration of Work Safety show that China recorded 532,101 accidents between January and October, killing 92,437 people.

The committee called for solid measures to be taken to improve safety measures in vulnerable industries.

It said, with immediate effect, that authorities must stop approving new collieries with a capacity of less than 300,000 tons a year.

(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2006)

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