6 Apr 2010

Race on to find survivors in flooded Chinese mine

6:44 pm on 6 April 2010

Rescuers on Tuesday continued to search for 33 workers trapped in a flooded Chinese coal mine, a day after more than 100 others were dramatically saved.

However, the bodies of five miners have been found at the Wangjialing mine in Shanxi province, China's coal-producing heartland in the north, AFP reports.

Authorities say there is still hope others will be found alive after the mine flooded during construction work on 28 March.

On Monday, rescuers wept with joy as 115 workers were brought from the pit.

Survivors have said they endured the eight days and nights in the massive pit by eating tree bark and sawdust, and occasionally drinking the dirty water that accumulated in the pit.

Workers are installed more pumps and other drainage equipment at the state-owned mine and medical staff are on stand-by to tend to the survivors.

President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have urged all-out efforts to save the men still trapped.

Most of the survivors were said to be in a stable condition, but 26 were described as being in "relatively serious" condition after their ordeal, Xinhua news agency quoted rescue teams and doctors as saying.

The industry has been plagued by fatal accidents which last year killed more than 2,600 miners, according to government figures.