Trapped Chinese miners freed after flood

Other News Materials 19 November 2008 05:53 (UTC +04:00)

Thirty-two of 34 workers trapped in the flooding of a central China mine have been rescued, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported Tuesday.

One worker died, and the last was missing, Xinhua said. The rescued workers were rushed to a hospital and were in "poor" condition, CNN reported according to the news agency.

The mine in Pingdingshan, a city in Henan province, flooded Monday, according to China's State Administration of Work Safety. Forty-two miners were working in the mine at the time; eight escaped, according to Xinhua.

Wang Dexue, head of the Administration of Work Safety, told Xinhua the mine, known as the Gaomendong Coal Mine, was operating illegally. Its owner, Lou Gaofeng, was detained. Wang said Lou failed to report that miners found water seeping into the mine before the flood, and also waited two hours after the flood occurred to report it, according to Xinhua.

More than 800 people participated in rescue operations at the mine, located in Jiaxian County, Xinhua said.

China has suffered a string of deadly mining disasters in recent years despite a nationwide safety campaign.