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8 rescued from flooded mine in central China

(Xinhua)

08:08, July 09, 2012

Rescuers carry a miner onto an emergency car at the Qielichong colliery in Sandu Township of Leiyang, central China's Hunan Province, July 8, 2012. Eleven of the 16 trapped miners at a pit of Qielichong colliery in Leiyang city were confirmed alive Saturday night. Many of the remaining eight workers suffered injuries and were under first-aid treatment underground before being pulled out. The colliery flooding occurred at about 6 p.m. Wednesday when 40 miners were working underground. Of all, 24 managed to escape. (Xinhua/Bai Yu)

CHANGSHA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Eight miners were lifted to ground Sunday after being trapped for over three days under a flooded colliery pit in central China's Hunan Province, rescuers said.

Another four of the 11 mine workers confirmed alive Saturday night were pulled out of a pit of Qielichong colliery in Leiyang city, at 6:20 p.m., the rescue headquarters said in a statement. The first three were rescued at about 1:40 a.m.

Meanwhile, a miner, who was not among the 11 earlier confirmed alive, were reached and saved at 10:40 a.m.

All the eight have been rushed to hospital for further treatment. Before being pulled out to safety, they had received first-aid treatment for their injuries.

Medical personnel had gone into the pit carrying stretchers and first-aid material.

There are still four of the 11 earlier found alive waiting to be lifted to safety. The fates of the remaining four of the 16 trapped, however, are unknown.

Six professional teams of 90 members and more than 1,000 people were at the scene to carry out rescue operations.

The colliery flooding occurred at about 6 p.m. Wednesday when 40 miners were working underground. Of all, 24 managed to escape.

But the accident was not reported to the local government until Thursday morning, which delayed the start of the rescue operation by almost 12 hours, according to local authorities.

The mine owner, Liu Yaping, is under police custody.

In a separate mine accident in Hunan, seven miners were killed in a gas outburst that occurred at about 6:45 a.m. Sunday at the Xiangzhong Coal Mine in the city of Lianyuan, local authorities said. Thirty nine managed to escape.

The gas outburst was triggered as workers were doing the drilling work underground, an initial investigation showed.

A further investigation into the exact cause of the gas outburst is under way.

Xiangzhong Coal Mine is a township mine with an annual production capacity of 60,000 tonnes.

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