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Rescuers attempting to airlift 2 trapped miners
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Rescuers in southwest China's Sichuan Province are endeavoring to rescue two injured miners who have been trapped for 18 days after the May 12 earthquake.

The two miners were trapped in the Qingping Township of the Deyang City, one of the worst-hit cities in the powerful earthquake, said Lu Erxue, Director General of Civil Aviation Helicopter Operation Earthquake Relief Headquarters.

Lu said they learnt about the trapped miners from survivors who fled the township on the 14th.

Altogether three miners were trapped in the township, and one of them died. Local villagers attempted to carry them out of the mountainous area, but failed because the two were seriously wounded and were better to stay put. The villagers said the two had enough food but no medicine.

Six soldiers were airdropped to the township on Saturday morning and had located the pair, Lu said.

The soldiers reported through a satellite phone that the two were still alive, but were in critical condition, Lu said.

Helicopters were sent for rescue, but were not able to land because thick clouds shrouded the rugged terrain, Lu told Xinhua on Saturday night.

"A new round of rescue will start at 8 a.m. tomorrow," he added.

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2008)

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