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Central China province works all-out for miners missing in colliery flood

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    Central China province works all-out for miners missing in colliery flood People s Daily Online December 1, 2010 Rescuers are working all-out in search of at
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      Central China province works all-out for miners missing in colliery flood

      Central China province works all-out for miners missing in colliery flood

      People’s Daily Online

      December 1, 2010

      Rescuers are working all-out in search of at least seven miners trapped in a pit in central China's Hunan Province Wednesday morning, more than 10 hours after it was flooded.

      The flood happened at 11:40 p.m. in a pit of Yide Coal Mine in Xiangtan County.

      A deputy mine manager led 27 workers out safely, but the whereabouts of at least seven other miners was unknown, a county government spokesman said early Wednesday.

      An official with the local work safety bureau said the flood happened 85 meters underground and the miners were believed to be trapped at a depth of 89 meters.

      Rescue work was launched shortly after midnight, with several pumps working together to drain 1,200 tonnes of water an hour, he said.

      "Frankly speaking, no substantial progress has been made so far," the official said. "But we'll never give up as long as there's hope of survival."

      He said more pumps were being installed Wednesday to speed up the draining.

      Families of the trapped miners began arriving at the scene Wednesday morning, waiting for news.

      Assisting in the rescue work, Liu Hunqiang, a villager from Yunhuqiao township in Xiangtan County, held a torchlight for rescuers transporting equipment down the shaft.

      "I arrived here with my brother and sister at 2 a.m.," said Liu, whose sister's husband was among the trapped.

      Eight ambulances and dozens of medical workers had been waiting since 2 a.m. to provide first-aid to survivors. "We pray all of them will be pulled out alive," said Pan Linglan, a nurse from the No. 1 People's Hospital in Xiangtan City.

      Rescuer Zhang Xinming worked nearly 10 hours installing and operating equipment in the pit. When he stopped for a break at 10 a.m., he was black all over and out of breath. "There's nothing to complain about. Just think of those miners' plight."

      A spokesman with the emergency rescue headquarters said Yide, a small mine that had doubled its annual output to 60,000 tonnes after recently merging with a neighboring colliery, had been warned due to safety concerns, both orally and in writing, over the past four weeks.

      Senior executives and major shareholders of the mine are in police custody.

      Meanwhile, authorities have demanded all mines in Xiangtan County suspend production for safety overhauls.

      _________________________

      U. S. Mine Rescue Association

      www.usmra.com

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