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China Targets Further Decrease in Mining Deaths

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China is targeting a decrease of at least 10 percent in mining deaths in 2011, Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration, said Wednesday.

"Governments at all levels should intensify their efforts to ensure safe mining operations and prevent major accidents in 2011," Zhang said at a meeting in Beijing on preventing gas accidents .

Last year, 593 people were killed in 135 gas accidents nationwide, down 21.5 percent and 14 percent, respectively, year on year.

China should step up supervision of coal mines and eliminate potential hazards to all miners, while increasing clean energy supplies to reduce greenhouse emissions, said Zhang, who is also vice director of the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planning body.

Also, he urged local governments and mine operators to beef up precautionary measures to prevent gas leaks and explosions.

(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2011)

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