Rescuers on Monday abandoned their search for four missing
miners 12 days after a gas explosion that killed nine other workers
at a colliery in central China's Hunan Province.
The missing miners were unlikely to have survived due to the
high intensity of the toxic gas and the serious cave-in in the mine
shaft, said Li Ming, vice mayor of Leiyang City, where the mine is
Twelve days without water and food had lessened their chances of
survival, added Li.
Twenty-three miners were working underground when the explosion
took place at around 9:00 AM on Nov. 8 in the Xinpo Coal Mine. Ten
were rescued, including five injured.
Most of the victims were villagers from the township of
Simenzhou, where the mine is situated, and families of the dead
have each received 220,000 yuan (US$ 25,425) in compensation.
Officials have yet to announce any compensation for the families of
the missing miners.
An investigation into the cause of the explosion is underway and
experts suspected sparks caused by electric drills might have
caused the blast.
The privately-owned mine went into operation in 1997, producing
30,000 tons of coal annually.
(Xinhua News Agency November 21, 2006)