Chinese mine workers choke to death, one at a time

I just read an agonizing story in the Baltimore Sun about impoverished Chinese workers who rushed at the opportunity to make money mining gold.

Thanks to the lack of safety measures, they are now dying a slow death caused by breathing in the dust as they mined. For the poor village it is a tragedy from which it can never recover; one woman interviewed is going to lose all her sons and grandsons (7 men in all). And the disease is preventable with fairly simple safety procedures.

As always, it was the officials who ended up rich, while those they are supposed to represent were sent to die.

In time, the gold rush in this community of 14,500 in Jiangxi province became a tragic microcosm of the economic free-for-all under way in China, where the winners are well-connected, the losers have little recourse, and, often, no one is held accountable.

The article closes with a wail of hopelessness; the mine is closed, and there is no work for the survivors. One of most troubling and depressing pieces on China I’ve seen to date.

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