After Saturday's iron mine collapse in east China's Anhui Province rescuers lifted another three of the eight trapped miners to the surface but explained they were having difficulties pulling another miner to safety as his legs had been trapped under rocks.
However, three miners have been confirmed dead, said Cheng Chuanru, director of the Anhui Provincial Administration for Work Safety.
Four miners, including a female, had been pulled out alive from the collapsed shaft and were taken rushed to Anqing City Hospital.
The first survivor, Hu Dexiang, was saved at 5:41PM Monday after being trapped in the Dalongshan Iron Mine in the city of Anqing for more than 60 hours. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Hu regained consciousness and could speak, doctors said. Hu asked for a meal but he was given only milk as he was weak.
Eight miners were trapped underground at a depth of 130 meters after the mine in the Dalongshan Township collapsed at 4:50am Saturday. Dust and water capped filled the ventilation shaft and exit after the accident making it impossible for the miners to escape.
More than 1,000 rescuers have taken part in the rescue operation over the past few days.
The Dalongshan Iron Mine was founded in 1992 as a township-run company but was privatized in 1999. It employs 15 people and produces 15,000 tons of iron ore a year.
(China.org.cn, Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2006)