13 miners trapped in coal shaft in China

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 18, 2010 15:39
1 minute read.

 
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BEIJING — Rescue operations were under way for 13 miners trapped underground in a flooded coal shaft in northwestern China on Sunday — a reminder of the dangers of an industry that claimed the lives of 36 others a day earlier.

The official Xinhua News Agency said 16 workers were inside the shaft when water gushed into the mine in Jinta, a county in Gansu province Sunday morning, and three men were safely lifted out. But 13 men remained trapped, according to an official from the State Administration of Work Safety who declined to give his name, as is customary.

On Saturday, 28 miners were killed when an electrical cable caught fire inside a coal shaft in northern Shaanxi province, a government official said. There were no survivors. The fire happened at the privately owned Xiaonangou coal mine in Sangshuping town, the official said.

The coal mine's owner, Guo Yungang, has been detained by police, Xinhua said. His company, Xinxin Mining Co. Ltd., had been trying to expand the mine in order to increase output from 30,000 tons to 90,000 tons. Rescuers retrieved the bodies of five miners by Sunday morning, and an investigation was under way.

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