Three more bodies recovered in NE China flooded colliery

JIXI, Heilongjiang, April 5 (Xinhua) — Three more bodies in a flooded coal mine have been recovered as of Sunday morning in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, raising the death toll to five, local authorities said. Rescuers have saved four miners as of 7 a.m. and are searching for another seven trapped underground. The accident occurred at about 5:30 a.m. on Saturday when 22 miners were working beneath Jinli coal mine in Jidong County, Jixi City. Six escaped, said Jixi city government. About 4,000 cubic meters of water had gushed into the shaft and it will take workers about three days to pump out the water, said Wang Guangyue, vice mayor of Jixi. Rescuers are using six pumps to get the water out. An initial investigation showed that improper operation by workers might be one of the causes of the accident, said Li Yubao, head of the coal industry administration of Jixi. The coal mine, owned by a local company known as Tianyuan Company, is a legal undertaking capable of producing 40,000 tonnes of coal a year. It was said to have resumed coal production without a prior approval as required, according to the city government.

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