Few Hope Left for Miners

The death toll in the explosion in a coal mine in Southwest China's Guizhou Province has reached 100 and rescue workers are continuing the endeavor to rescue those still trapped under the ground.

This was confirmed Monday by sources with Muchonggou Mine in Liupanshui, where the accident occurred last Wednesday.

More than 200 miners were trapped in passages about 2 to 3 meters under the ground after the explosion. Rescue workers have been clearing the passages and pumping air into them since Thursday.

However, experts fear that since the mine was filled with poisonous gas from the explosion, those still stranded are unlikely to have survived.

A report in yesterday's China Youth Daily said that more than 200 rescue workers were working on the site of the accident. The injured miners that have been brought to the surface have all been sent to local hospitals for medical treatment.

Thanks to effective measures to restore the ventilation system in the mine, it is unlikely that new explosions will occur during the evacuation, the Beijing-based newspaper quoted officials in charge of the rescue work as saying.

Muchonggou Mine, with an annual output of 900,000 tons of coal, is one of the province's major state-owned coal mines.

A gas explosion in 1983 killed more than 80 miners in the mine.

(China Daily 10/03/2000)

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