Death toll of flooded mine hits 16
( 2003-10-17 22:27) (Xinhua)
Sixteen trapped miners in a flooded coal mine in Dengfeng City, central
China's Henan Province, were confirmed dead Friday as rescuers continue to
search for the last missing one.
Previous reports said 18 miners were trapped underground when the coal mine
was flooded on Oct. 9. However, rescuers said the number was 17, because one had
managed to escape.
Preliminary investigation showed the lax awareness of safety among the mine's
managers, according to Wang Shujun, vice mayor of Dengfeng city.
Rescue operations were repeatedly hampered by dense gas, a pump breakdown and
water leakage inside the flooded shaft.
The flooded Changda Coal Mine began operating in 1997 and was unlicensed.
It was the second coal mine accident in three months in Dengfeng. The first
occurred at the Dengfeng Coal Mine in Baiping Township on July 13, killing 21