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China Shuts Down 1,611 Illegal Coal Mines

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BEIJING — China has shut down more than 1,600 small, illegal coal mines this year as part of an effort to improve safety standards in a mining industry that is the most dangerous in the world.

The state-backed People's Daily newspaper reported Thursday that 1,611 small mines across China with outdated facilities were closed this year, citing the National Energy Bureau.

More than 2,600 people died in mining accidents in China last year, though deaths have decreased in recent years as the government increased safety inspections and shut down illegal mines.

In October, the State Administration of Work Safety said mine managers and bosses who do not accompany workers down into mine shafts would be severely punished.

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