Chinese Rescuers Race to Save Trapped Miners
   2012-08-30 23:39:20    Xinhua      Web Editor: Yihang

Rescuers in southwest China's Sichuan Province were racing Thursday to save 21 miners trapped in a coal mine following a gas blast that has left 26 dead.

More than 300 rescuers have been dispatched to the Xiaojiawan Coal Mine in the city of Panzhihua to retrieve the trapped workers.

Rescuers were lowered into the mine to search for the trapped miners while paramedics waited aboveground.

Li Hua, a rescuer with Panzhihua Coal Mine Group, said he entered the pit three times early Thursday morning and successfully pulled two miners out of the mine alive.

However, rescue efforts at the mine were hampered by narrow underground spaces, cave-ins and high temperatures in the gas-filled pit, according to the rescue headquarters and rescuers.

Temperatures reached 80 to 90 degrees centigrade and carbon monoxide was dense in the zone where the miners were trapped. Only some paramedics wearing masks were able to enter the shaft, authorities said.

"The shaft of the mine has been severely destroyed, making our rescue work very hard," Li, the rescuer, said.

Rescuers had pulled six miners alive out of the mine as of 6 a.m. Thursday.

Yang Dongliang, head of the State Administration of Work Safety, arrived at the mine early Thursday morning to join provincial governor Jiang Jufeng in directing rescue operations.

Finding and rescuing those miners trapped underground has remained a pressing task, according to the rescue headquarters.

A total of 154 miners were working underground when the accident occurred at around 6 p.m. Wednesday, and 107 of them have escaped on their own or have been pulled out of the shaft, according to the rescue headquarters. Three miners died on their way to hospital.

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, four hospitals in Panzhihua had received 54 miners, including 10 who were seriously injured and seven in critical condition, sources with the provincial health department said.

Of the injured, 50 suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning and the other four miners suffered burn-related injuries, the sources said, adding that most of them are in stable condition.

Xu Changyong, 34, was one of the miners who survived the accident.

He regained consciousness after being taken to the Panzhihua Coal Mine Employee General Hospital.

"I heard the crackling sound of an explosion at that time but didn't feel the shockwave," Xu told Xinhua at the hospital. "What came out of the air compressor was not fresh air but ash, and soon my workmates and I got headaches."

Xu, a digging miner with strong sense of safety, quickly got the pipe off the air compressor to let fresh air in after he realized there must have been a gas blast and helped his four workmates escape. Xu scrambled out of the pit, but lost consciousness on the way to hospital.

The coal mine, some 750 km southwest of the provincial capital Chengdu, is owned by Zhengjin Industry and Trade Co., Ltd.

Three owners of the mine have been taken into police custody and the mine's accounts have been frozen.

An investigation into the accident is underway.

Meanwhile, provincial authorities have ordered a thorough probe and overhaul on coal mines and other potentially hazardous enterprises.

Share

                  


CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. All rights reserved. Reproduction of text for non-commercial purposes only is permitted provided that both the source and author are acknowledged and a notifying email is sent to us.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

 
Listen
 
 

 
 
Highlights
Media Scan
Chinese Court Head Detained Following Mistress's Death
Police say the head of a county court in north China's Hebei Province has been detained after he confessed to hiring a man to murder his mistress.
Are Long Commutes Killing Your Employee Productivity?
Recent research from the UK's Office of National Statistics found that long time commute had a huge impact on an employee's productivity.
CHINATALKS
Video
• A C4 Short: Top Secret Planning
Join us for a special look behind CRI's hilarious comedy news show.
• C4: Something About Someone Else
Join us for the latest episode of CRI's hilarious comedy news show.
In Depth

• China
China News
Chinese Press
Diplomatic
Society
Gallery
• World
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Americas
Middle East
Africa
• Video
Traveller
Culture Heritage
Beyond Stardom
Dynamic China

Life 360
Panoramic Sports
• Radio
Highlights
Livecast
Ways to Listen
• Business
Audio
Markets
Editor's Choice
Biz Photo
Special Coverage
• Travel
Destinations
Editor's Pick
What's in
On the Road
• Showbiz
Chinese Films
Music & Stage
Art & Literature
Video
Photo Gallery
Special Coverage
• Language Learning
Ask Pingping and Jules
Chinese Studio
Elementary Chinese
Pop Charts
English News
English Snippets