Chinese miners rescued after 25 days underground
Jul 13, 2009, 10:48 GMT
Beijing - Three Chinese coal miners were rescued after being trapped underground for 25 days, local media reported Monday.
The miners, who were trapped after the Xinqiao mine in southwest China's Guizhou province flooded, were discovered Sunday morning when workers cleared a blocked tunnel, official Xinhua news agency reported.
The three miners - Zhao Weixing, Wang Quanjie and Wang Kuangwei - from Henan province, had access to water and air, rescuers said.
'They were experienced. They tried to save their energy and firmly believed that they would be saved ultimately,' rescue worker He Sijun was quoted as saying.
Photos from Xinhua showed the workers, their eyes covered with black cloths to protect them from the light, being treated at the site.
Two miners were killed in the disaster, and 12 others are still missing, according to the Guiyang Evening News.
China's mining industry is notoriously dangerous with many mines operating illegally and flouting safety regulations in order to increase production.
The official mining death toll was 3,215 last year, but industry analysts suspect the actual figure to be higher.
The owner of the Xinqiao mine, Lu Wanli, is under investigation for failing to alert authorities about the accident for 13 hours, delaying rescue action, an earlier China Daily report said.