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Three die in China coal mine rescue
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 11, 2011

Three rescuers died as they tried to help workers trapped in a colliery in eastern China, local authorities said Monday, as 21 people remained stuck in another mine in the same region.

China has been hit by a spate of serious mining accidents recently, highlighting the dangerous nature of the industry.

The three rescue workers were trying to reach miners trapped in a colliery in Shandong province's Zaozhuang city after a fire broke out underground on Wednesday evening, according to the local government.

One of the rescuers collapsed underground due to the extreme heat, then two other relief workers tried to save him but they too fell and lost consciousness, it said in a statement.

Other rescuers came up behind them and carried them to the surface, but the three had died, it added.

The local government did not say how many miners were still stuck underground, but according to the last official tally on Friday, 28 people were trapped.

The news comes as 21 workers remain trapped underground in another mine in Shandong, after water flooded an iron ore pit in Weifang city on Sunday, local authorities said.

Elsewhere in the country, a coal mine in southwest China's Guizhou province flooded more than a week ago, leaving workers trapped.

But in a rare piece of good news, two workers were rescued on Sunday after being trapped for more than a week underground in a mine collapse in the southern region of Guangxi.

So far, eight people have died and 12 are still missing in the accident, the official Xinhua news agency said earlier.

China's coal mines have a notoriously poor safety record, which the government has repeatedly pledged to address.

In 2010, 2,433 people died in coal mine accidents in China, according to official statistics -- a rate of more than six workers per day.

Labour rights groups, however, say the actual death toll is likely much higher, partly due to under-reporting of accidents as mine bosses seek to limit their economic losses and avoid punishment.

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21 trapped in China iron ore mine: report
Beijing (AFP) July 11, 2011
Twenty-one workers are trapped underground after a flood in an iron ore mine in eastern China, state media said Monday, in the latest accident to hit the notoriously dangerous industry. Seven people managed to escape when water poured into the pit in Weifang city in Shandong province at around 11 pm (1500 GMT) on Sunday, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing a statement from the local ... read more

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