Preliminary analysis of experts showed the coal mine flooding
which has trapped 181 miners at two pits in east China's Shandong Province since Friday is a natural
disaster, Minister of Civil Affairs Li Xueju said at a press
conference on Wednesday.
"China currently has no compensation system for people killed
and injured in natural disasters," Li said.
But the coal mine flooding occurred at Huayuan Mining Co. Ltd.
in the city of Xintai, and later at Minggong Mine was a case
different from other natural disasters, because it took place in
the course of production, he said.
The government and enterprises will provide compensation to the
families of the coal mine flooding victims, he added.
Li revealed that the Ministry of Civil Affairs is considering to
build a compensation system for the victims of natural disasters
and is negotiating details with relevant departments.
Rescue workers are still working against time to search for the
181 miners trapped at two collieries in east China's Shandong
Province since Friday, despite dimming hopes of their survival five
days after a swollen river flooded the pits.
Families Mourn as Hope Fades for 181
Nie Tingbo's small home is crowded with a dozen anguished
relatives. No one has touched the bowls of rice and fried
vegetables that a neighbor brought over.
Everyone is waiting anxiously for news of the 37-year-old
colliery gas detector, who has been trapped with the 180 mine
workers for almost 100 hours since Friday when two pits flooded in
eastern Shandong Province.
Nie's wife, Zhang Rongxia, sits motionless on the edge of her
bed, tears streaming down her cheeks. "He left home before midday
to take the afternoon shift on Friday," she says. "It had been
raining for days and the two bridges over the river close to our
home were underwater."
Zhang had tried to talk her husband out of going to work. "He
always took his job so seriously that he just refused to listen,"