Last body found month after mine flood in NE China

Updated: 2011-09-23 20:48


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HARBIN - The body of the last miner trapped in a flooded coal mine in northeast Heilongjiang province one month ago has been recovered, said a spokesman with the local rescue headquarters on Friday.

The death count totaled four in the month-long tragedy at the Hengtai Coal Mine in Boli county in the city of Qitaihe, he said.

The mine flooded around noon on August 23 after miners mistakenly drilled into a neighboring flooded mine, trapping 26 miners. Twenty-two were rescued.

The Hengtai Coal Mine is one of many that had been operating illegally in recent years despite government efforts to shut down small, outdated mines.

The provincial government previously ordered the mine to stop production in 2007, but the owner restarted production without permission on August 16, according to the local work safety bureau.