Rescue force increases as SW China mine flooding kills 5

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Two emergency rescue teams from neighboring Chongqing Municipality have joined rescue operations after a coal mine flooding accident killed five in southwest China's Sichuan Province, leaving 13 others trapped underground.

As of 4:00 p.m. Monday, one miner who was previously missing has been found dead, according to a briefing. The total number of rescuers increased to 251, and they have been split into 13 groups.

Salvage draining pumps have been replaced with more efficient models, with a more-than-doubled capacity of 550 cubic meters of water per hour, said Cao Shanhua, chief engineer of the Sichuan Coal Industry Group.

The accident occurred at 3:26 p.m. Saturday at the Shanmushu coal mine owned by the Sichuan Coal Industry Group in Gongxian County when 347 miners were working underground. A total of 329 escaped.

Ambulances and medical workers are on standby, and all rescued miners will receive priority treatment, Cao noted.

Nan Shenghui, a field rescue specialist from the Xi'an Research Institute of China Coal Technology & Engineering Group, said complicated geological conditions, disrupted power supply, communication and ventilation systems, as well as the risk of gas outflow have slowed down the rescue efforts. 

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