China has a poor record when it comes to mining safety. A gas explosion in a coal mine in China recently killed 28 people. This accident doesn’t come near the worst mining disasters ever, but it is one of many mining accidents that take place in China. Official numbers are lacking, but it is estimated that thousands of mineworkers worldwide die in mining accidents each year. Approximately 80 percent of the casualties is Chinese.
Working in a coal mine is dangerous. A coal miner has limited working space and poor visibility. There are many causes that can lead to a disaster, such as leaks of poisonous gases (hydrogen sulfide) or explosive gases (methane). Many times a mine stope collapses or a mine gets flooded. The worst mining disasters nowadays occur in China or in other developing countries. But what are the deadliest mining accidents? Where and when did they take place? Here’s a top 10 worst mining disasters!
Top 10 worst mining disasters
- December 6, 1907: Monongah, West Virginia, USA – 362 mine workers die in the worst mining disaster in American history
- December 27, 1975: Chasnala, India – a coal mine explosion followed by flooding kills 372 workers
- December 12, 1866: Oaks Explosion, Barnsley, England – 380 miners are blast away after an explosion
- May 28, 1965: Dhanbad, India – a fire sweapt through the mine killing 375 miners
- January 1, 1960: Coalbrook, South Africa – 417 workers die in South Africa’s worst mining disaster
- June 6, 1972: Wankie, Zimbabwe (FKA Rhodesia) – 423 miners die after several gas explosions
- October 14, 1913: Senghenydd, Wales – 439 lives were lost after an explosion
- November 9, 1963: Mitsui Miike (Omuta), Kyushu, Japan – 458 casualties after an explosion
- March 10, 1906: Courrières, France – 1,099 people, including many children, die in an gas explosion
- April 26 1942: Benxihu, China – 1,549 mine workers die as a result of an explosion