69 Chinese Miners Rescued After 3 Days

Nearly 70 coal miners were pulled out from a flooded shaft in central China on Wednesday, many struggling to walk after surviving for three days by using their helmets to drink milk poured down a ventilation pipe.

69 Chinese Miners Rescued After 3 Days

It was a rare rescue in a country with the world's deadliest mines. Onlookers burst into applause when the first of the 69 trapped miners emerged from the Zhijian mine in Henan province, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Many of the miners, partially clothed and covered in soot, had to be supported by rescuers and paramedics, news photos showed. They were blindfolded, presumably to protect their eyes from the sun after their three-day ordeal underground.

The 69 were stuck underground but uninjured after the state-owned mine in Shan County filled with water early Sunday. Thirty-three miners managed to escape.

Rescuers had piped in oxygen in a bid to keep the miners healthy and buy time to save them. They also poured 149 gallons of milk down the 2625-foot ventilation pipe, which the miners drank from their helmets. It was their only source of nourishment in 76 hours, Xinhua said.

Hundreds of rescuers struggled to prevent more river water from entering the mine as they pumped out water from the shafts and cleared away silt. Xinhua had reported that the area where the miners were trapped was dry and had electricity and a telephone line.

China's coal mines are the world's deadliest, with fatalities reported nearly every day in fires, explosions and floods despite government efforts to improve safety.

Deadly accidents often are blamed on mine owners who disregard safety rules and fail to invest in required ventilation, fire control and other equipment.

 

AP

Last Mod: 01 Ağustos 2007, 14:19
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