A disaster in a Russian coal mine last week has been cited as a harsh reminder of the dangers associated with mining in China.
According to the Associated Press, the company had been racing to improve safety and boost production at the Sakhalin-1 mine in northeastern Russia before the miner was killed May 7. The explosion caused over 90 percent of the mine to melt into a copper tailings pit and killed miner Sergei Ponomaryov.
Safety concerns have been a large part of the ongoing investigation into the incident.
“The fire broke out from an electrical circuit that was short-circuiting, according to preliminary indications from various sources,” Matvey Dvornik, the director of Sakhalin-1 Mine, said at a press conference May 7.
Dvornik also said he expected the accident would be treated as a criminal act by prosecutors.
For the past three years, Sakhalin-1 Mine has been upgrading equipment and installing new safety standards to meet international standards, the AP reported.
Many Chinese and foreign officials and coal miners have responded to the tragedy by criticizing the mine’s lax safety standards and management, and urging the government to ensure the situation does not happen again.