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Benxi

Trip Planner Asia  /  China  /  Liaoning  /  Benxi
Benxi is a prefecture-level city located in the east of Liaoning province, People's Republic of China, south-southeast of Shenyang. Its population was 1,709,538 at the 2010 census whom 1,011,377 lived in the built-up area made of 3 urban districts (Pingshan, Xihu and Mingshan). It was founded as a metallurgical center in 1915. Benxi Iron and Steel Company ("Bengang") is the largest employer in the city, and used to be the fourth-largest steel company in China. The second-largest industry in Benxi is coal mining. Benxi has pollution problems due to steel production and coal mining.During the disaster of Air France flight AF447, Benxi Iron and Steel Company lost 5 employees, including the executive Chen Chiping who was the wife of Liaoning's provincial governor.HistoryAs early as 400,000 years ago, there were people living in Benxi prefecture, which was indicated by Miaohou Mountain ruins with human fossils and stone tools explored in this region.The worst coal mining disaster in the world took place on April 26, 1942 in Benxihu Colliery. A coal-dust explosion killed 1,549 miners working that day,making it the worst disaster in the history of coal mining and the second worst recorded industrial accident. The explosion sent flames bursting out of the mine shaft entrance. Miners' relatives rushed to the site but were denied entry by a cordon of Japanese guards who erected electric fences to keep them out. In an attempt to curtail the fire underground, the Japanese shut off the ventilation and sealed the pit head. Witnesses say that the Japanese did not evacuate the pit fully before sealing it, trapping many Chinese workers underground to suffocate in the smoke.
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