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6 Dead, Rescue Work Ends After Heilongjiang Colliery Flood
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All the six miners trapped since Tuesday were confirmed dead, rescuers said early Saturday as they wrapped up search and rescue operation in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

Investigators are still in the pit hoping to pinpoint the cause of a flood that hit Fusheng Mine in Boli county in the city of Qitaihe at 6:40 PM Tuesday, the local coal mine safety watchdog said.

Eleven miners were in the pit. One of them managed to escape on his own shortly after the flood and four others were rescued the next day.

Rescuers had kept searching for the missing until all six bodies were found Friday night.

Fusheng Mine is privately-owned and designed to produce 60,000 tons a year.

China's coal mines suffer frequent flooding, explosions and cave-ins largely due to lax safety management, killing around 6,000 people each year.

Qitaihe city is known for one of the deadliest coal mine accidents in recent years: a gas blast killed 171 miners in November 2005. The tragedy caused 42.9 million yuan (about US$5.36 million) in direct economic loss.

(Xinhua News Agency December 16, 2006)

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