12 rescued after days in flooded mine shaft

BEIJING: Twelve Chinese miners trapped underground in central Henan Province have been pulled out alive after being stranded for five days in a flooded shaft, state press reported yesterday. 

“All the 12 miners are still alive,” Yu Haiying, head of the rescue headquarters in Chaohua township, told Xinhua news agency. 

The successful rescue marks a rare occasion in China's mining industry where miners are able to walk away from a mishap after being trapped for such a long period. 

The miners were trapped after the mine shaft suddenly flooded last Sunday afternoon, Xinhua said. 

The cause of the accident appeared to a lack of understanding of the “hydrological and geological conditions” in the mining area, the report said. 

Digging by a private mine into the Chaohua mine area also led to the flooding, it said. 

Many of China's mines are poorly managed and have an appalling safety record. 

The latest official figures show some 7,197 miners died in accidents in the first 10 months of last year. – AFP

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