China: Rains slow search for 69 trapped miners

Heavy rains Monday have hampered efforts to save 69 miners trapped for more than 24 hours in a flooded coal mine in central China, a state-run news agency reported. Thirty-three miners escaped but the 69 were trapped when the flood struck the Zhijian mine in Henan province's Shan County early Sunday, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing an unidentified county official. The latest downpour Monday triggered landslides on both sides of the mountain road leading to the mine. The rain and heavy fog also reduced visibility to 15 meters and two trucks carrying relief materials were stranded on the road for hours, Xinhua said. "The rescue operation is going on in an orderly way and the most important task is to try every effort to pump water (out)," one rescue official was quoted as saying.