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Flood waters threaten rescue of 18 trapped in NE China mine

08-10-2010 15:03 BJT Special Report:China Fights Worst Flood in Decades |

TONGHUA, Jilin, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Rescuers are racing to save 18 miners trapped in a coal mine that was flooded shortly after midnight Tuesday before a new deluge hits the area in northeast China's Jilin Province.

The accident happened at 12:10 a.m. at Hongyuan Coal Mine in Erdaojiang District of Tonghua, the third largest city in Jilin, said Zhang Dejun, the spokesman of the city government.

He said the miners were working below ground to pull out machinery that had been soaked after days of torrential rain, when the flooding occurred.

He said rescuers were pumping water out of the mine, which was near the lower reaches of Daluoquangou River. However, a reservoir upstream was poised to discharge flood waters Tuesday.

"Time is very pressing," Zhang said.

The Daluoquangou River is swollen after the catchment received 116.2 millimeters of rain Monday.

Wang Zuji, Vice Governor of Jilin, is overseeing the rescue work at the site.

The Hongyuan Coal Mine designed with an annual production capacity of 60,000 tonnes is a township-owned mine. The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

Jilin Province has been battered by heavy rain and floods this summer. At least 85 people have died and 66 are missing after floods over the past two months, according to the provincial government.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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