China coal mine explosion.

Can you imagine the news frenzy if this happened in the US?

Well, it sounds like big news there too. Although the survivors are probably more likely to give credit to rescue workers instead of God, I expect. Using Wiki, it looks like the most recent American mine disaster on this scale would be way back in 1968; the Farmington Mine Disaster which killed 78. It apparently resulted in the “Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969”.

I just watched the documentary, ‘The People’s Republic of Capitalism’. They stress the determination of the Chinese to develop economically, and how that binds them to coal. Since most of the population lives in abject poverty and because mining pays better than most opportunities, there is never a shortage of applicants.

Their safety issues come from two things: the economics of coal and Chinese labor, and the fact that they can’t safely keep up with demand.

Now we are up to 87, and rising.

That tops the 78 that Der Trihs cited.

But they are just Chinese where life and labor are cheap. Again, can you imagine the media frenzy if this happened in the US?

Can you inagine the outrage if it was a polo team rather than some crummy miners?

Who exactly do you think isn’t getting properly worked up? It’s the front page of the China Daily. Do you think Chinese people are just sitting around saying “Eh, who cares?”

Pity that a little blond girl didn’t go missing.

I live in Southeast georgia, and last year, Imperial sugar blew up. 14 were killed. That’s right, a sugar plant. The national press didn’t cover that industrial accident, so why the fuck should they cover 42 unfortunate Chinese?

Nah. We are saying that about the reactions of a billion Chinese people.

I think it’s kind of funny and a little bit icky how everyone is saying that no one cares, when obviously people do care.

It’s weird how people just assume that the Chinese don’t care about each other.

People see what they expect to, I suppose.

Acknowledging the irony (given the OP) of moving this to MPSIMS, but there’s no debate here.

Pure class there boyo, Using a mine explosion to take a completely out of the blue snark at religion. :rolleyes:

No doubt they care deeply, and a lot of tears are being shed by friends, relatives, coworkers, and other folks, both there in China and elsewhere.

But accidents like this aren’t that unusual among coal miners in China. Literally thousands die every year in coal mining accidents there, compared to about 40 per year in the US; on a per-ton basis, the fatality rate in China is about 37X that of the US. As much sadness as there is and will be over this latest accident in China, it’s doubtful that it will spur stricter safety regulations and/or enforcement any time soon. I think this has less to do with a lack of caring, and more about a kind of fatalism and sense of powerlessness in the face of an entrenched system. Look to the history of the labor rights movement in the US, and you might see an inkling of what to expect in China: a decades-long climb from risky wage slavery to a safe work environment where an employee can expect to put in a full day’s work for a full day’s pay.

Funny - I read about it in the papers here and I’m over a thousand miles from Georgia.

Of course, I read my news, I don’t just listen to TV. Maybe that’s the difference?

No, come to think of it, I remember it being on the TV, too

In fact, at the time it occurred I wound up discussing it on another message board (here) where the thread was started by someone in Europe quoting a BBC article on it. So actually it wasn’t just national it was international news. Your sugar factory workers weren’t forgotten or ignored, Monkey. That doesn’t bring back the dead or heal the wounded, but perhaps it can help in some small way.

Beyond that - I think the Chinese do care - the article does point out that mine safety in China is improving year to year. Certainly the families of the miners care. I only have access to English-language versions of Chinese news, but it’s a lead story on those sites I can read at all. I don’t think anyone wants to see working people get killed on the job.

I can only assume that Americans didn’t/don’t care about other Americans either when the number of American coal fatalities were similar to the current rate of Chinese fatalities.

In China you’re looking at the USA circa 1933ish. I think Americans cared then and I think Chinese care now. I just don’t think it is reasonable to think that a developing country should have overnight all the infrastructure that advanced countries took decades to realize/build.

In the coming decades the Chinese will have their versions of OSHA, EPA, and even the AFL-CIO. And then the Chinese will decry the [emerging] industrial fatalities in Kenya, or Afghanistan or wherever.

Hardly out of the blue. That was one of my first thoughts, because it’s something that you nearly always see in disasters here in America. There’s a disaster, rescue workers save who they can, and the rescued give all the credit to God. And I’m hardly the only one who notices; it’s rather disgusting.

And complaining about my “lacking class” in pointing that out is rather amusing when the believers use such disasters to promote their beliefs as a standard practice. Would you talk about the believers lacking class when they ignored the people who helped them in order to push their religion?

And really, more than anything I was complimenting the Chinese, whom the OP appeared to be bashing.

I know. I used to live in China and when a mine explosion occurred then, I was quite moved by how much everyone cared.

Yep. It’s a huge problem in China, but the people definitely do care and are concerned.

Piping in from my OP:

1.) I’m sure the Chinese care. I’m pointing to the irony of how something with the tragedy level of this is mostly ignored by the rest of the world.

2.) I don’t blame the mod for moving this thread. I initially thought of posting it on MPSIMS but the words “mundane” and “pointless” dissuaded me based on the magnitude of the tragedy.

I looked at the CDC site and see that in the 5 year period of 1911-1915 there were approx 13,000 mining deaths in the US. (!!)

Eighty short years later—1991-1995—there appear to be less than 100. The site cites these developments:

Permissible explosives established
U.S Bureau of Mines established
Rock dusting starts
Permissible electrical equipment established
Permissable Cap Lamps established
Improved ventilation
Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act passed
Rock dust/ Coal dust analyzer
Methane degasifacation
Explosion proof bulkheads

Is there any doubt that China will develop similarly?

Eventually, I’m sure they will. It takes time and they are definitely still developing.