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172 trapped miners confirmed dead
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All 172 miners trapped in their colliery by floodwater following a levee breach were dead, Li Yizhong, China's top work safety chief, has confirmed, more than one month after the accident in east China's Shandong Province.

Early this month, media reports said there was little chance the victims could survive the August 17 flooding in the coal mine owned by the Huayuan Mining Co in Xintai City, citing rescuers.

The flooding also killed nine other miners in an adjacent mine, Li, director of the State Administration of Work Safety, told a national work safety teleconference on Thursday, according to his agency's official Website yesterday.

Citing the incident at the teleconference, Li urged local industries, especially mines, to be on high alert over possible safety hazards that may befall them during severe weather, such as flooding, landslides and cave-ins.

In the Xintai mine flooding, the mine management didn't suspend mining, contributing to the tragedy, Shandong authorities said earlier. The mining company's Chairman Zheng Zhenxiu and Zhang Canjun, its vice general manager, have been detained.

(Shanghai Daily September 22, 2007)

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