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Race against time to save trapped miners

[ 2010-03-30 11:22]     字号 [] [] []  
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In XIANGNING, Shanxi, rescue efforts made little progress amid rain on Monday, two days after a flood trapped at least 153 workers at a State-owned mine in this coal-rich county.

As of Monday night, rescuers were still busy installing more machines to pump water from more than 600 meters underground.

Although the death toll will not likely be immediately announced, the incident at Wangjialing Coal Mine could become China's deadliest coal mine accident since two mines flooded in Shandong province in August 2007, killing 172 people in one case.

On Monday evening, more than 10 pumps operating around the clock were pumping up to 500 cubic meters of water per hour. Rescuers were trying to get huge pipes as long as 2,000 meters into the flood water to maintain ventilation, according to a China Central Television report.

The report said as many as 1,600 rescuers are racing against time. But authorities said if 2,000 cubic meters of water could be pumped out per hour - a target they hoped to reach by this afternoon - they would still need three days to drain out the water.

Investigations showed that 261 workers were in the pit of coal mine, which is under construction and due to start production five months ahead of schedule in October, when the water gushed in, according to rescue headquarters.

Of them, 108 were able to get out while 153 others were trapped in the shaft, the headquarters said.

Local workers claimed more people could be trapped. One worker claimed to have overheard several managers estimating late Sunday evening that more than 260 people were still underground.


1. How many people do authorities say are trapped in the coal mine?

2. How many more could be trapped, according to other accounts by local workers?

3. How many people are involved in the rescue effort?


1. 153.

2. More than 260.

3. As many as 1,600.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Race against time to save trapped miners

About the broadcaster:

Race against time to save trapped miners

Renee Haines is an editor and broadcaster at China Daily. Renee has more than 15 years of experience as a newspaper editor, radio station anchor and news director, news-wire service reporter and bureau chief, magazine writer, book editor and website consultant. She came to China from the United States.