China coal toll.
profrv at nex.net.au
Wed Apr 28 16:35:50 PDT 1999
A COAL miner has been pulled alive from a pit in northern China after
surviving five days underground in appalling conditions, but 18 of his
co-workers have been found dead, state media said.
The man was rescued from the Chiyu mine in Huozhou city, Shanxi province,
in the early hours of this morning, the state Xinhua news agency said.
The miner was taken to hospital and was in a critical condition, the report
Only hours before, officials had told the agency that hope was fading fast
for all 19 miners, who were trapped 60m underground early last Sunday after
faulty electrical wiring in the main shaft ignited a fire.
Rescuers and doctors entered the shaft as early as Wednesday but were
unable to advance because of high temperatures, dense smoke and large
amounts of poisonous carbon monoxide, Xinhua reported.
The bodies of the 18 other miners, who died from suffocation and carbon
monoxide poisoning, have been removed from the mine.
Police on Wednesday arrested eight people in connection with the accident,
including the mine's manager, Xinhua reported.
"Initial investigations showed that the mine had no adequate safety systems
and its owner, in order to evade safety checks, had ordered the miners to
work secretly at night," it said.
Efforts by officials to reduce the appalling death toll in China's mines
are greatly hampered by the existence of huge numbers of small pits, often
Foreign experts, backed by some state statistics, put the annual toll in
Chinese mines at more than 10,000.
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