Rescue work for 14 trapped coal miners is still under way in northeast China. Last Saturday night, a coal mine in Qitaihe, Heilongjiang province flooded. So far, 8 of the 22 miners underground were pulled out, leaving another 14 waiting for rescue.
A narrow escape from death. Wen Hongfu had been trapped for nearly 12 hours before being found 20 meters from the mine exit on Sunday afternoon. He was sent to a hospital with another miner.
Wen Hongfu said, "I was given a life. I thought my life was over when I was underground. I saw the water and I knew it was powerful. It’s impossible I could run faster than the water. I believed that the water was swelling from deep down, so I turned into a tunnel, thinking maybe we could drill a hole and go upward. "
Being soaked in water, Wen Hongfu still managed to shovel a path up to the exit. After a whole night of effort, he met the rescue team.
Chen Xianling, Vice President of the People’s Hospital in Qitaihe City, said, "So far four of the rescued miners have been sent to us. Most of them are suffering from soft tissue damage. Their conditions are largely stable."
The rescue team has figured out the reason for this accident.
Liu Wenbo, vice commander of the rescue team, said, "The mine owner was digging the left overs of another mine that’s been shut down. And the water in the old mine flooded through."
The mine owner knew that he shouldn’t have been doing so.
Four pumps have been put into use since Sunday afternoon to drain the water. Local authorities have mobilized more than 200 rescuers and medical personnel.
This is not the first time Qitaihe has suffered a coal mine accident in recent years. In November 2005, a gigantic explosion rocked a coal mine in the city, killing 171 miners and injuring 48.