Coal mine sealed to put out fire, though three still missing
- Coal mine sealed to put out fire, though three still missingwww.chinaview.cn 2004-07-17 20:55:27
CHANGSHA, July 17 (Xinhuanet) -- Poisonous gas and smog prevented rescue work in the Shuangfu Coal Mine in central China's Hunan Province, leaving little chance of survival for the three missing miners underground, and experts decided to seal the coal mine to extinguish the fire on Saturday.
The decision was made on experts' discussion and the approval of the missing victims' families, according to the rescue headquarters.
The fire occurred at around 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday in the coal mine in Xiangtan county as the result of a broken cable. As of press time, six miners had been killed, three were still missing and 15 were hospitalized including two in danger.
"The victims were located at about 600 meters below the ground.When we reached the strait lane about 400 meters underground, we were forced back by the poisonous gases, high temperature and narrow space," said tired Yang Jinshan, a rescuer who just came out of the mine.
The air in the mine was filled with high concentration of poisonous gases and the indexes showed people could fall into coma with one breath of the air, Yang said.
However, five rescue teams had tried their best to reach the missing victims according to different rescue programs, but all failed.
Experts analyzed the conditions underground and concluded the three missing miners could not survive such poisonous conditions and rescue could not be carried out in the affected areas.
Four parts of the coal mine were sealed to put out the fire so that rescue work could be carried out later.
They had tried their best and it was the only way to deal with the situation now, said most families of the victims.
The privately-owned mine was operating without a required license, the province's coal mine safety authorities said.___________________________________________________________
United States Mine Rescue Association