114 miners rescued from flooded mine in China


Beijing : At least 114 of the 153 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine in China’s Shanxi province for over a week were rescued Monday, an official said.

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Rescuers are continuing the search for the 39 trapped miners, Shanxi Governor Wang Jun was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

The flood occurred around 1.40 p.m. March 28 after workers dug a hole into an abandoned pit filled with underground water at the Wangjialing coal mine in Xiangning county. When water gushed in from the pit, 261 workers were inside. Of them, 108 were able to get out while 153 others were trapped in the shaft.

Survivors with clothes covering their eyes were being lifted out by rescuers.

“It is a miracle in China’s mining rescue history,” Luo Lin, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, said.

Scientific methods used in the rescue have ensured that the survivors were rescued alive after being trapped underground for a week, Shanxi Party chief Zhang Baoshun said.

Most of the survivors were brought out from a working platform, where rescuers had drilled a vertical hole. The hole ensured oxygen in the flooded pit and rescuers later sent down over 300 bags of glucose to the trapped miners.

“It is a miracle. It is all worth of our efforts without sleep for several days,” said Wei Fusheng, a white-haired rescuer, bursting into tears.

“I have two daughters and a son. I had to do mining work to earn money for them,” said a 45-year-old survivor taken to the Shanxi Aluminium Plant Hospital, which admitted 35 survivors Monday.

It was “fantastic” to be up on ground again, a 27-year-old survivor said, adding that he heard applause when he was lifted out by rescuers.

Over the past week, about 3,000 rescuers and 300 experts have been mobilised for the rescue operation. Fourteen pumps have been pumping out water for the past six days, with an average of 2,500 cubic metres water being pumped per hour.

The accident is being termed as one of the deadliest coal mine accidents in the country since two mines flooded in Shandong province in August 2007, killing 181 people.