A provincial work safety official said 13 people were trapped after a coal mine that was operating illegally flooded early Wednesday morning in southwest China's Guizhou Province.
The flood occurred at about 5:40 a.m. at the Baiyanglin coal mine, in Anshun City, when 20 people were working in the pit. Seven people escaped safely but 13 others were trapped.
With about 3,000 cubic meters of water in the pit, chances of survival were slim, the rescue headquarters told Xinhua.
Preliminary investigations found the mine, with a capacity of 30,000 tons a year, was under renovation. It had no work safety certificate and the production permit had expired.
In September and December, local authorities ordered the mine to stop production, but it continued operation.
The mine's legal representative, Zhang Ping, was taken into police custody.
Vice Governor Sun Guoqiang and the provincial work safety director, Pu Jianjiang, went to the site to direct the rescue.
(Xinhua News Agency December 31, 2008)