Five miners trapped underground in Zanhuang County, in northern China's Hebei Province when their mine collapsed five days ago have been confirmed dead, and their bodies have been recovered from the mine, said rescue officials Friday.
The collapse occurred at 16:30 on June 7, and mud swept into the mine shaft, trapping the five miners. Experts found that a hidden ancient shaft in the coal mine was the cause.
Sixteen rescue experts from the Xingtai and the Jingxing mining bureaus carried out the rescue work.
The geological structure of the mine was complex, and some parts of the mine were fragile, which made the work more difficult, said Sheng Guoqiang, deputy director of the rescue mission.
The local government is conducting a review of all of the mines in Zanhuang County.
(Xinhua News Agency June 14, 2003)