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Hopes Fading for 102 Trapped Miners

The chances of survival for the 102 miners trapped in a flooded coalmine in Guangdong Province are slim as water levels continue to rise.

Experts estimated that 15 million to 20 million cubic meter of water has flooded the tunnel of a private coalmine operating under the name of Daxing, located in Huanghuai Town, Xingning City.

"The amount of water that has flooded the mine is almost equal to that of a medium-sized reservoir," said an official, adding that three water pumps were working round-the-clock and four more were expected to be put to work by Tuesday.

However, experts have found it difficult to determine where exactly the water is coming in from, complicating rescue and investigation efforts.

More than 600 people have been mobilized for the rescue operations.

Only four miners escaped from the mine, which is about 480 meters underground, when the flooding occurred at about 1:30 PM on Sunday.

"This is a typical case of a mishap caused by the blatant violation of safety rules," said Li Yizhong, director of the National Bureau of Production Safety Supervision and Administration.

Li said the mine is illegally run as it has no production license. In addition, operators ignored a local government order for all coalmines in Xingning to suspend operations pending safety examinations following another case of flooding on July 14.

According to local government sources, the Daxing Coalmine was established in 1990 with a designed annual production capacity of 30,000 tons. The miners are mainly from Xingning and the neighboring provinces of Jiangxi, Anhui and Guizhou.

More than 60 relatives of the trapped miners had arrived at the site by 8 PM Monday, waiting anxiously for news about their loved ones.

At the Central Primary School of Huanghui Township, which was reserved as a waiting area for families of the trapped miners, Liu Jinping, a farmer from eastern Jiangxi Province told Xinhua that he came to look for his nephew Liu Xiaoming, who was said to be missing in the accident.

"I just want him to come back alive," Liu said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2005)

Coalmine Accidents - 14 Dead, 104 Trapped or Missing
Leaders Concerned over Guangdong Mine Accident
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