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One of four survivors dead after mine flood traps 26 in NE China

(Xinhua)

13:12, August 28, 2011

QITAIHE, Heilongjiang, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- One of the four survivors were confirmed dead early Sunday morning after a flooded coal mine trapped 26 miners in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province Tuesday, according to the rescue command center.

The victim, named Zhao Wenquan, was one of the four survivors found on Saturday. The other three survivors were brought to the ground at around 6:30 p.m. and were rushed to the People's Hospital in Qitaihe City, where the flooded coal mine was located.

Zhao was too weak to join the three lucky survivors who kept on crawling in the pitch-dark shaft to find rescue despite the search work for him continued after his three co-workers were rescued. His body was retrieved at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

The three survivors were in stable condition, said Shi Hong, vice president of the hospital.

The flooding occurred on Aug. 23, when 45 miners were working in a pit of the Hengtai Coal Mining Co. in Boli County of Qitaihe City. Nineteen miners managed to escape.

The provincial government ordered the mine to stop production in 2007, but the owner restarted production without permission on Aug. 16, according to the local work safety bureau.

The accident happened after workers mistakenly drilled into a neighboring mine.

Rescue work is still underway.

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