Sixty-nine miners, trapped in a flooded coal mine for more than three days, are now being pulled out one at a time in central China's Henan Province, rescuer workers reported.
By midday Wednesday, 31 miners were pulled out alive. Several could not walk without assistance. Some miners had to be put on stretchers.
Twenty-five ambulances and 106 rescue workers waited on stand by as the miners came above ground. Ambulances rushed them to nearby hospitals.
An applauding crowd greeted the first rescued man, identified as Nan Jianning, when he was brought above ground. The other miners are now being transported above ground in succession.
One hundred and two miners were working underground when the Zhijian coal mine flooded at approximately 8:40 AM on Sunday. The mine is located in Shanxian County, about 200 kilometers west of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan. Thirty-three managed to escape immediately but 69 others were trapped until today.
(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2007)