Four people were trapped after a lime kiln collapsed Friday morning in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, rescuers said, and there was little hope they had survived.
The hillside kiln in Baiyanggou, Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, collapsed just before 9 a.m. with five workers inside, said Fan Yuanzhao, head of the Chenggong Lime Plant, which owns the kiln.
One worker escaped almost immediately, but four remained trapped, and rescue operations continued.
However, the survival chances of the trapped were slim as the temperature at one mouth of the kiln was about 400 to 500 degrees Celsius, rescuers said.
The kiln began operation in 2005 and produced 20 tonnes to 30 tonnes of lime a day.
(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2009)