5 Nov 2011

More than 40 men rescued from collapsed mine

8:09 pm on 5 November 2011

Emergency teams in central China have rescued the majority of a group of miners who had been trapped underground following a cave-in.

Chinese media say more than 40 men were pulled out alive on Saturday. Seven had been rescued on Friday at the mine in the city of Samenxia in Henan province.

Several others are said to be missing, and state media says eight miners have died.

The mine collapsed on Thursday after a low-level earthquake, the BBC reports. Mining accidents kill hundreds each year in China.

The authorities said the initial rescue operation had been hampered by coal dust following an explosion.

They said that 75 miners had been working in the pit at the time of the explosion.

They were reportedly in a 760m-deep shaft which was blocked by the rock burst - an explosion caused by the sudden release of built-up pressure - at a depth of 480m.

According to one report, rescuers had dug a 500m tunnel in order to reach those still trapped.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 2.9 hit the area shortly before the rock burst.