172 miners still trapped in flooded China coal mine

A total of 172 miners were still trapped in a flooded coal mine in east China's Shandong Province although a levee breach that was blamed for the flooding was closed up Sunday, state press reported.

172 miners still trapped in flooded China coal mine

A total of 172 miners were still trapped in a flooded coal mine in east China's Shandong Province although a levee breach that was blamed for the flooding was closed up Sunday, state press reported.

More than 2,000 troops, armed police, and miners managed to close up the levee breach on the swollen Wenhe River at 3:38 a.m. Sunday (1938 GMT Saturday ), Xinhua News Agency said.

The flooding occurred at around 2:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) Friday in the coal mine of Huayuan Mining Co. Ltd in Xintai City, about 150 kilometers south of Jinan, the provincial capital. A total of 756 miners were working underground at the time of the flooding and 584 managed to escape, according to Xinhua.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao ordered late Saturday all-out efforts into the rescue work, and asked rescuers to "promptly mobilize equipment and personnel resources available and take all necessary measures to rescue the trapped miners." Torrential rain swept Xintai on Friday and early Saturday with a precipitation of 232 millimeters, triggering flash floods and a 50-meter breach in a levee on the Wenhe River, said the report.

The rescue headquarters ordered all coal mines near the banks of the Wenhe River to stop production and evacuate all mines, while the State Administration of Work Safety issued an emergency notice urging coal mines to draw lessons from the Huayuan mine accident and immediately take preventive measures against rainstorm-triggered floods.

Earlier this month, all 69 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine in central China's Henan Province for three days were rescued in one of the most successful rescue operations in coal mine accidents in China.

Huayuan Mining Co. Ltd is a licensed enterprise with an annual capacity of 750,000 tons. The flooded mine was built in 1957.

Agencies

Last Mod: 19 Ağustos 2007, 17:07
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