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Death toll in latest China blast reaches 166

An explosion at Chenjiashan Coal Mine in the northwestern province of Shaanxi on November 28 and a gas explosion in a Guizhou mine in southwest China on December 1 have once again added to China's dismal safety record in the mining industry.

The death toll in Sunday's gas blast has reached 166, making it the worst since September 2000, according to China Daily.

China's coal mines have been haunted by death. On October 20 a deadly gas blast in Daping of central Henan Province killed 148.

In the first nine months of this year, 4,153 coal miners were killed in fires, explosions, floods or other disasters, statistics from the State Administration of Work Safety show.

The administration said China reported 80 percent of the world's total coal mining-related deaths, although it produced only 35 percent of the world's coal.

China has seen an annual average of about one million industrial accidents since 2001, according to the State Administration of Work Safety, with nearly 140,000 deaths each year.

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