Flood in Chinese Coal Mine Traps Workers

Rescuers were rushing to save seven miners trapped after a coal mine flood in northeastern China, state media reported Thursday.

There were 19 workers underground Wednesday when the privately-owned Xiren Coal Mine in Jilin province's Tonghua city was flooded with water, the Xinhua News Agency said. Four managed to escape and eight were rescued early Thursday, it said.

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The eight rescued workers were hospitalized in stable condition, it said.

Yuan Yuqing, deputy director of the Jilin Provincial Coal Mining Bureau was quoted as saying rescuers were hopeful of recovering the miners because they were able to hear their cries for help.

Also Wednesday, a gas leak at a mine in north China's Shanxi province killed at least one person, Xinhua said. Rescuers lifted 45 miners from the gas-filled pit at the Danangou Coal Mine in Datong city on Wednesday but one did not survive, it said.

China's coal mines are the world's deadliest. Thousands of workers are killed each year in near-daily fires, floods and explosions caused by inadequate equipment and lax safety rules.

In the first eight months of this year, 2,900 Chinese mine workers were reported killed in 1,824 accidents.