Nine trapped in flooded China coal mine: state media
Beijing (AFP) July 1, 2010
Nine miners were trapped after a flood in China's coal-producing heartland, state media reported Thursday.
Safety officials had made contact with eight of the group at the mine in Shanxi province, the official Xinhua news agency said, adding that they would be rescued "soon".
Twenty-three miners were around 1,400 metres (nearly a mile) underground at the time of the flood on Wednesday afternoon and 14 of them escaped to safety.
China's vast coal mining industry is notoriously accident-prone due to lax regulation, corruption and inefficiency as mines rush to meet soaring demand. China relies on coal-generated power for about 70 percent of its electricity needs.
In March, a flood at the huge, unfinished Wangjialing mine in the industry's northern heartland of Shanxi left 153 workers trapped underground. A total of 115 were recovered alive, in what was seen as a rare successful rescue.
Yet despite numerous pledges after that accident and other big mining disasters, there is virtually no let-up in the regular reports of deadly mishaps.
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