Officially, more than 6,000 Chinese miners lose their lives each year in industrial accidents. The real figure is believed to be much higher, however, because operators often conceal accidents to avoid fines and costly shutdowns.
China produces 35 per cent of the world’s coal but accounts for 80 per cent of fatalities globally. The death rate is 30 times that of South Africa and 100 times higher than in the United States. Mining coal in China is probably the most dangerous job in the world.