18 miners have 'good' chance of being saved
( 2003-10-11 01:47) (China Daily)
Eighteen miners were still trapped underground on Friday night following the flooding of a coal mine in the city of Dengfeng in Central China's Henan Province, the local coal mine administrative authority told China Daily.
But the chances of rescuing the miners are quite good, an official said on Friday.
The accident happened at 2:40 pm on Thursday, in the Changda mine, 200 metres underground.
Other miners narrowly escaped when they heard the sound of water leaking and rushed out of the dangerous pit in less than 10 minutes.
Representatives of the Henan Provincial Bureau of Coal Mine Safety and other provincial departments rushed to the site to supervise the rescue operations, said the official, who refused to be named. Different rescue measures were being discussed and implemented to rescue the miners underground, he said.
Around 200 rescue workers have been deployed and water pumps have been used to remove water from the mine.
A tunnel was being dug towards the location of the trapped miners.
The miners underground were safe and healthy on Friday evening at press time, according to the official. They were in a tunnel above the water.
The official said the chances of rescuing the miners were quite good. If the digging work goes to plan, they should come out of the pit on Sunday.
The investigation into the cause of the flooding was still under way on Friday. But it was clear that the floodwater had rushed from an abandoned pit located above the pit where the miners were trapped.
The quantity of water in the abandoned pit had been measured before the new pit was dug and the quantity was believed insufficient to cause flooding.
"Our only concern is the miners' oxygen supply underground,'' said the official.
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