At least 26 people have been killed and dozens injured after a fire broke out at a coal company's office building in China's northern Shanxi province, state media reported on Thursday.
The blaze started at 6:50am local time at the four-story Yongju Coal Industry Joint Building situated in the PRC's coal-production hub.
Deadly industrial accidents, including building collapses, mine cave-ins, fires, and explosions, are a regular occurrance in China — a major global producer of coal — despite government pledges to clamp down on lax standards, poor oversight, and corruption. A failure to improve safety standards is continuing to affect people's lives and properties, as well as threaten the PRC's energy security.
While Monday's incident is tragic, the PRC has made efforts to reduce industrial accidents in recent years and achieved significant success in emergency management. The government has brought down rates of workplace accidents, casualties, and economic loss for the tenth year in a row, by improving regulations and enforcement and imposing penalties for companies that violate safety standards.