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Illegal work blamed in mine disaster (2)

By Zhou Huiying and Zhao Lei  (China Daily)

10:27, December 04, 2012

"The rescue operation is a race against time. I am convinced there is still hope to save the trapped miners. The rescuers will never give up," he said.

But he said rescue headquarters were unable to locate the trapped miners.

Fourteen miners had been trapped in the pit for more than 50 hours as of press time on Monday. Five pumps have been put into use and are able to drain 455 metric tons of water per hour.

"The mine's owner deliberately hid the real conditions in the pit and provided us with a false map," Li said. "That led to a miscalculation of the amount of floodwater in the pit."

In addition, the bad weather is posing challenges for the rescue.

Heavy snow began to fall at about 4 pm on Monday, and forecasts predict the snow will not stop until Wednesday.

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