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China rescues 115 from flooded mine

By Jo Kent, CNN
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'Miracle' mine rescue in China
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: More than a week after their coal mine flooded 115 miners were pulled out alive
  • Rescuers worked to reach another 38 believed to be still trapped inside
  • Miners were part of group of 261 working in the Wangjialing mine when it flooded March 28
  • Mine accidents are common in China; In 2009, 2,631 people were killed in such accidents
RELATED TOPICS
  • China
  • Shanxi Province

Beijing, China (CNN) -- More than a week after their coal mine in northern China was flooded by a rush of underground water, 115 miners were pulled out alive Monday, China's state-run TV reported.

Rescuers worked to reach another 38 believed to be still trapped inside.

CCTV, which carried the rescue efforts live, showed the miners being brought out in stretchers to loud cheers.

The workers were wrapped in blankets and rushed to ambulances where they were in stable condition, local media said.

The miners were part of a larger group of 261 working in the Wangjialing mine when it flooded March 28.

Rescuers were able to reach 108 miners immediately after the flooding.

Monday's rescue, which began shortly after midnight, comes two days after tapping was heard from within the mine.

Late Sunday night, rescuers noticed swaying lamp lights inside the mine -- indicating signs of life, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Some of the miners attached their mining belts to shaft walls as water first rushed in. They remained suspended for three days until a mining cart floated by and they jumped in, CCTV said.

Two hundred people, as part of 50 rescue groups, were working around-the-clock to drain water, monitor gas and pull out miners, said Wang Jun, governor of Shanxi province where the mine is situated.

"So far the coordination is in order, the effect is obvious," he told CCTV.

Mine accidents are common in China. In 2009, 2,631 people were killed in such accidents. The figure, while high, is down from 2002 when 6,995 people died.

On Monday, the country launched a two-month campaign to inspect safety regulations in mines and other industries that have had serious accidents.

 
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