Hopes fade for trapped China miners

Rescuers searching for 172 missing miners warn relatives to brace for worst.

    Rescuers are trying to repair a breached dyke to stop waters flooding into the mine [Reuters]

    Friday's accident at the Huayuan Mining Co located 450km south of Beijing is the latest to strike China's coal mining industry, the world's deadliest.

     

    Rescuers at the Huayuan mine were using industrial pumps to siphon water from the mie as experts analysed data in an effort to pinpoint the location of the trapped miners.

     
    The Huayuan mine was flooded on Friday after a dike burst following heavy rains, sending waters from the swollen Wen river surging into the two mines.
     
    In a second incident in the same area, nine coal miners were reported stranded in a separate pit, bringing the total number of missing to 181.
     

    "You would think an official could come and tell us what's going on, whether there are any signs of life, are they dead or alive"

    Li Chunmei, 
    relative

    On Sunday dozens of distressed relatives clashed with guards after hearing rumours that rescue operations had been abandoned.
     
    Huayuan's executives have yet to meet relatives waiting outside the company's compound for news.
     
    They have also not released a list of the missing workers.
     
    Li Chunmei, whose 42-year-old brother is believed to be among those trapped in the 600-meter deep shaft, said the company was treating them "like they are things to be sacrificed".
     
    "You would think an official could come and tell us what's going on, whether there are any signs of life, are they dead or alive."
     
    China's mines are woefully dangerous, with more than 2,000 workers killed in the first seven months of the year.
     
    The country's deadliest single mining accident in recent memory took place in 2005, when an explosion at a pit in the northeast of the country killed 214 miners.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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