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35 confirmed dead in Henan colliery flooding
Updated: 2005-12-18 16:44

As of Sunday morning, rescuers have found 35 bodies from a flooded colliery in central China's Henan Province, while seven other trapped miners are still missing, local government said.

"Although the hope for the missing miners to survive is very slim, we will not give up till the last minute," said an official with the rescue headquarters, who refused to give his name.

The flooding occurred at a privately-run colliery called Sigou at about 11:40 p.m. on Dec. 2, when 76 miners were working in the pit. Only 34 of them escaped.

Most of the victims are identified as farmers from the county of Xin'an, where the colliery is located. The local government has compensated at least 200,000 yuan (25,000 U.S. dollars) for each family of the dead.

The colliery was found unlicensed. Its designed annual output is 60,000 tons.

Ten officials of the mine responsible for the accident have been detained and they will face stern punishment, said the official.

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