Rescuers have been forced to abandon efforts to save seven
trapped miners from two flooded neighboring coal mines in northeast
China's Liaoning Province.
Rescuers have pumped out 59,000 cubic meters of water in the
last 11 days but the water level underground remains high and
It is believed the coal mines, located at the Tianshifu Township
of Benxi Autonomous County of Manchu Nationality, are probably
connected by a local underground water system which has at least
1.86 million cubic meters of water, and it will take about a year
to pump out the water at the current maximum speed of 300 cubic
meters per hour.
The rescue operation was abandoned on Saturday noon because the
seven miners, who were working in a position below the water level
when the accident happened, had no chance of survival after 11
days, rescuers said.
The coal mines are also liable to collapse at any time, posing a
great threat to rescuers.
At around 7:00 PM on Jan. 9, a flood occurred at a coal mine
owned by Cui Jingzhu, affecting an adjacent coal mine run by Gao
Sihai and trapping seven workers underground.
The two mines, each with an annual production capacity of 10,000
tons, should not have been in operation. They had been closed
earlier this month, but resumed production illegally.
The two mine owners have reached an agreement with the relatives
of the victims, who will be paid at least 200,000 yuan (US$ 25,000)
each in compensation, a spokesman with the Benxi county government
said on Sunday.
(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2007)