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Slim survival chances for 20 trapped miners
Updated: 2008-11-01 21:52

JIYUAN - Rescuers said the survival chances for 20 trapped miners in central China are slim as it will take at least one week to reach them because of coal debris in the mine tunnel.

Qi Baihong, the rescue headquarters chief for the Mazhuang colliery flooding accident, said the narrow tunnel, its serious accumulation of debris and new gushing water, had caused great difficulties for rescue operation.

Qi said it would take one week for rescuers to reach the site where the trapped were if no new tunnel collapse occurred.

The flooding occurred at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday when 28 miners were in the colliery.  Seven escaped and 21 were trapped.

Rescuers found one body on Friday.

The cause of the accident was being investigated.