Fifteen miners who had been trapped in a flooded coal mine in east China's Jiangxi Province for over a month were confirmed dead, local government sources said on Thursday.
Rescuers have recovered the bodies of five miners, while 10 others remain buried underground, the sources said.
But a technical checkup by the Coal Mine Forensic Sciences Center of Jiangxi Province showed there was no chance of survival for the 10 other miners, though their bodies were not found yet.
As the shaft has been inundated for such a long period of time, coal-bearing rock formation became watery, which is likely to cause new collapse and casualties, according to the forensic sciences center.
Rescue operation was ceased after the rescue headquarters and the families of the trapped miners reached a consensus.
Local government sources said each family of the 15 miners received a compensation of 170,000 yuan to 190,000 yuan (US$23,000).
The flooding occurred at around 4 PM on July 7 in a licensed coal mine located in Shangli County, when 16 miners were working in the mining shaft. One miner managed to escape, while the 15 others were trapped.
All the killed miners were local farmers, according to the local government.
(Xinhua News Agency August 11, 2005)