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Two trapped miners rescued after their 10-day ordeal underground

Updated: 2013-10-09 07:16
By An Baijie in Beijing and Sun Ruisheng in Taiyuan ( China Daily)

Two miners trapped for 10 days in a flooded coal shaft in Shanxi province were pulled to safety on Tuesday.

Rescuers at the Zhengsheng Coal Mine returned the men to the surface at about 3 am.

Zhu Bangkui, 47, and 20-year-old Zhang Rongfei were taken to Fenyang People's Hospital, where doctors said the men were conscious and in a stable condition.

The bodies of five miners have been recovered, while another five were still missing on Tuesday, the State Administration of Work Safety said.

The mine, part of the State-owned Shanxi Coking Coal Group, flooded at 3:10 am on Sept 28. Forty-two miners were underground at the time and 30 were helped to escape shortly after.

Li Yueming, director of critical care at the hospital, said the two survivors rescued on Tuesday had been trapped underground for a long time and needed nutrition. They have been given liquid food, as their digestive systems have been affected, Li said.

Psychological treatment is also needed for the miners, he added. Zhang Peigang, director of the hospital's general office, said water and clean air are vital for the two survivors.

It is still unclear how they managed to survive in the mine shaft because they are too weak to talk, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Seventy-four pumps have been working round-the-clock to drain the floodwaters, with 8,610 cubic meters drained each hour, Shanxi Coking Coal Group said in a statement.

The rescuers face difficulties, including mud in the shaft, cramped space underground and a complex geological situation.

They are trying to overcome the problems to search for the remaining miners, the company said.

The cause of the accident is being investigated, the statement added.

Cheng Hong in Taiyuan contributed to this story.

Two trapped miners rescued after their 10-day ordeal underground

Rescuers carry a miner out of a mine shaft in Fenxi, Shanxi province, on Tuesday. Twelve miners were trapped in the mine on Sept 28 due to flooding. Two were rescued, five died, and five were still missing. Xinhua photo

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