172 missing after surface water floods coal mine in east China

Updated: 2007-08-18 04:43

JINAN -- A coal mine in east China's Shandong Province was flooded by surface water on Friday afternoon, leaving 172 people missing by 3:0 am on Saturday.

The flooding occurred at about 2:30 pm on Friday in the Zhangzhuang mine run by Huayuan Co., Ltd. which is located in Xintai City in the central part of the province.

"There were 756 miners working under the ground when the accident occurred. By 8:55 pm Friday, 584 miners have been rescued." said Zhang Dekuan, deputy secretary-general of the provincial government, who is at the site.

Shandong's Communist Party chief Li Jianguo, acting governor Jiang Daming and other senior officials had arrived at the site to coordinate the rescue work.

The provincial government has established a rescue headquarter at the site headed by Jiang Daming. The rescuers have been divided into nine groups responsible for ventilation, water drainage and other tasks.

By the press time, heavy rain is still pouring down at the site.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Also on Friday, the 14 miners who were trapped for more than a day in a flooded colliery in east China's Jiangxi Province were rescued. Rescuers had fed them milk before pulling them out of the shaft. They are hospitalized and were described as stable.

On July 29, 69 miners were trapped when the coal mine they were working in was flooded in Henan Province, but they were rescued three days later. During the rescue, rescuers sent 400 kilograms of milk through ventilation pipes to the trapped miners.

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