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Rescue halted with 16 still trapped in Jilin colliery flooding

EARTH filling work in attempt to rescue 16 trapped miners in a flooded coal mine has been suspended in northeastern China's Jilin province, as the site was in danger with a possible new cave-in, rescuers said today.

The flooding took place at about 1:55 pm Friday after a cave-in at Zhonghe Coal Mine in Meihekou city, trapping 16 miners underground.

New crevices have emerged, which pointed to probability of a new cave-in at the accident site. This halted rescue work and rescuers are considering new measures to reach the trapped.

Rescuers used about 10 excavators to fill the cave-in nearly one kilometer away from the mine entrance yesterday, aiming to prevent more water coming out of drift sand.

"The rescue is extremely difficult this time," said Jia Changjiang, a coal mine rescue expert at the scene.

Among the trapped, 15 were local residents of Meihekou city and one native of Dongfeng county of Jilin.

The coal mine was licensed and run by the Zhonghe township with an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes.


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