3 dead, 17 still missing in flooded coal mines in SW China

08:22, June 03, 2011      

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Photo taken on June 2, 2011 shows the rescue scene of the flooded coal mine at the border of Dushan County in Guizhou Province and Nandan County in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The water level has been lowered after 45 hours' rescue work. Four of the eight mine owners of the illegal coal mine were took into custody. The rescue work is still in progress. (Xinhua/Ou Dongqu)

Rescuers have found three bodies in a flooded coal mine in southwest China's Guizhou Province where nine others are still missing, according to a Thursday statement by the local rescue headquarters.

Two bodies were found Thursday, five days after the flood occurred at the Fuhong Coal Mine in Guizhou's city of Guiyang, while a single body was recovered on Monday.

Nearly 300 rescuers are working to remove debris in the flooded mine to rescue the other nine trapped miners, said Pu Jianjiang, chief of the provincial safety supervisory management bureau.

According to recent weather forecasts, a downpour of rain will hit the province from Thursday to Sunday, creating more difficulties for rescuers.

Eight workers have been trapped for more than 40 hours in another flooded coal mine located on the border of Dushan County in Guizhou and Nandan County in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The rescue operation at that mine has been complicated by the mine's dense clouds of toxic gas and narrow mine shafts, said Luo Guoguang, a deputy head of Dushan County.

Police have detained the mine's four owners, who were operating the mine illegally, Luo said.

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