Rescuers have blocked up a burning coal mine in northeast China,
saying they are certain the three miners trapped in the shaft are
The blaze at the Xiyanghong Coal Mine, in Liaoning Province, has been burning since
Friday morning, said local authorities.
The lack of oxygen and build-up of carbon monoxide made survival
in the mine impossible, said Shang Chunjie, director of Coal
Industry Bureau of Dengta City.
The rescue operation had become too dangerous due to unexploded
dynamite in the mine and the continuous build-up of gas because of
the broken ventilation system, Shang said.
The blaze could burn for several months, said Shang.
With the consent of the miners' families and the provincial
government, the mine was blocked at 4:00 PM on Sunday to cut the
The blaze started at about 8:00 AM in the mine in Huazi Town of
Dengta City, when nine miners were working underground. Two managed
to escape unhurt.
By 8:00 PM, the fire was mostly under control, but still burning
in isolated pockets, allowing rescuers to recover four bodies.
Twenty-one rescuers were organized to search in shifts for the
The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
All coal mines in Dengta City have been ordered to suspend
production. The Xiyanghong Coal Mine is a licensed private
(Xinhua News Agency January 23, 2007)