Rescuers struggle to save 22 trapped in China mine
BEIJING (AP) — Rescuers struggled Tuesday to pump water from a coal mine in southern China where 22 miners have been trapped for more than a day.
State media said narrow passageways and a lack of electricity at the Xiahaizi mine in Yunnan province were hampering rescue efforts. Four miners escaped following the shaft’s flooding before dawn Monday, which was apparently caused by blasting on an upper level, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
A government spokeswoman in Qujing city’s Qilin district where the mine is located, who like most Chinese bureaucrats would only give her surname, Chen, confirmed that rescue work was continuing but had no further details. Neither she nor Xinhua had any information about the condition of the miners still inside.
Xinhua said more than 500 people and three high-powered pumps were at the mine, with more rescuers, pumps and electrical systems on their way.
China’s mines are notoriously deadly, although safety improvements have significantly reduced the deaths in recent years.