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Two rescued after week trapped in China mine
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) July 10, 2011

Two workers were rescued Sunday after being trapped for more than a week deep underground in a southern China mine collapse in which eight people died and 12 were still missing, state media reported.

Rescuers acknowledged the chances of finding more of the missing alive was increasingly unlikely at the coal mine in Heshan city, in Guangxi region, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

But rescuers, who were offered two million yuan ($310,000) for each worker they pulled out alive, were not giving up, the report said.

The two survivors were found in a ventilation shaft 320 metres (1,000 feet) underground that was filled with sludge but still had space for air to pass, Ye Fangyong, the deputy head of the rescue operation, said.

The two men, Liu Jiagan, 41, and Qin Hongdang, 35, told rescuers in weak voices that they survived by drinking water that seeped down from the shaft. They were taken to hospital and were in stable condition, the report said.

Rescuers said they had heard faint sounds coming from the trapped miners at 3 am on Sunday.

A total of 71 miners were working underground when the accident occurred on July 2, but most managed to escape, the report said. Eight bodies had been removed as of Sunday.

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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70 trapped, eight killed in China coal mines: reports
Beijing (AFP) July 7, 2011
Nearly 70 miners were trapped underground and at least eight have died in a spate of mining accidents that have jolted China's dangerous mine industry in recent days, state media reported Thursday. Four miners were killed in a gas explosion in a mine in western-most China's Xinjiang region Thursday, with one seriously injured, Xinhua news agency said. A dozen workers were in the mine at ... read more

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