"The deadliest job in China"
Shanxi Province is the heart of coal country in China, which uses more coal than the United States, the European Union, and Japan combined. More than 30,000 mines are in operation in China—about 20 percent of which are illegal and unregulated. To understand the scope of the mine safety problem in China, consider the numbers: in the last decade, yearly coal mine deaths in the U.S. had a low of 22 (in 2005) and a high of 47 (in 2006) . In China, coal mines claim the lives of about 6,000 workers every year. An article in the Christian Science Monitor calls coal mining "the deadliest job in China."
>> The United States Mine Rescue Association tracks coal mine fatalities in China on its website.
>> West Virginian Duane Moles traveled to Shanxi Province to investigate how coal mining is affecting the lives of villagers in a new video report for FRONTLINE/World: "China: Undermined". Read his reporter notes on The Muckraker Blog by the Center for Investigative Reporting.