23 dead as rescue work ends in flooded China coal mine

According to the China Government’s official website rescue work in a flooded coal mine in Guizhou Province has been terminated, 14 days after a flood trapped 23 workers underground.

The rescue work in Niupeng Mine, located in Pingtang County, was halted at 4 p.m. Saturday, said Li Shangkuan, commander-in-chief of the rescue headquarters.

The decision was based on the opinions of experts, rescuers and relatives of the trapped workers, Li said.

The miners were very unlikely to be alive, according to an assessment by rescue experts. Twenty one workers remain missing while two bodies have been retrieved from the mine. The area where the miners are believed to be has been completely submerged.

While 406,000-cubic meters of water had been pumped out during the past 14 days, flood water was still pouring into the pit, Li said.

Also, possible secondary disasters such as cave-ins threatened further rescue operations, he said.

The local government would seal up the mine until the low water season, Li said.

The flood occurred at 9:30 a.m. on July 2. A drainage system breakdown has been blamed for the accident.

Click here for the Chinese Government website in English.

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