3 Apr 2010

Rescuers hear 'tapping' from flooded mine

11:05 am on 3 April 2010

Rescue workers in China searching for 153 mine workers have found signs of life at a flooded shaft in the north of the country.

They heard what sounded like people banging on pipes at the pit in northern Shanxi province colliery, five days after it flooded, the BBC cites China state media as saying.

A continuous tapping sound has been heard coming from a dredge pipe. Another pipe, lowered into the shaft, had a piece of wire wound round it when it was pulled back up - something that could only have been done by someone underground.

More than 100 people managed to escape when the mine was flooded last weekend.

Rescuers have been pumping out water since then, and trying to reach the trapped workers. Food and milk have now been sent down into the pit.