Coal miners of Helongjiang

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Posted 14 Jun 2011 in china

China is by far the largest producer of coal in the world. 80% of China’s electricity relies on coal. Beside developping modern coal mines in Inner Mongolia, China still struggles with huge safety problems. Here are pictures from the coal city of Hegang, North East China. I was there in november 2009, 10 hours after a deadly explosion, which killed 108 people: the worst coal incident in China since 2005. The streets were covered with black dust, the river were filled with black mud. Chinese journalists were blocked in their hotel by Harbin police who also guarded the victims houses to prevent wives to look for information. The bus station was closed down. Local police tried to arrest us but eventually let us go, after much discussion. Because I only wanted to photograph the daily life of Chinese coal miners. The full set is here.

 


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