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Rescue operation hampered by toxic gas resumes in S. China coal mine

07-04-2011 19:20 BJT

HESHAN, Guangxi, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Rescuers in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have recommenced operations to save 19 trapped coal miners, after rescue efforts were suspended due to high levels of toxic gas Monday morning.

The rescue work resumed around noon as carbon monoxide in the mine had dropped to normal levels after ventilation, said Su Fuchao, head of the rescue command headquarters.

More than 40 rescuers were working to save six miners trapped 320 meters underground, Su said.

The rescue command headquarters ordered rescuers to retreat to the platform of the main shaft after the gas gushed out of the pit at 2:45 a.m. Monday.

Three miners have been confirmed dead and 19 others are trapped after the coal mine, operated by Guangxi Heshan Coal Mining Company, caved in on Saturday in the suburbs of Heshan City in Guangxi.

Around 13,900 cubic meters of earth caved in, which was nearly twice as much as previously estimated, according to Su.

Initial investigations indicate that the collapse was caused by continuous heavy rains.

Forty-nine of 71 miners managed to escape when the coal mine collapsed.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: Xinhua

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