Monday, August 20, 2007

China and US - trapped miners feared dead

In China relatives say the rescue effort has been too slow

In China 181 remain trapped in what maybe the country’s worst mining disaster on record. Officials are being criticized by families of the miners for the slow response to rescue them. Pumping water from the mine was only begun on Sunday and many relatives are angry, some say officials are keeping information from them. A mine disaster hit two mines near the town of Xintai in Shandong province. The first incident occurred when a dike on the Wen River broke Friday afternoon, sending water gushing into a mine run by the Huayuan Mining Co. trapping 172 miners. A further 9 were trapped in the nearby Minggong Coal Mine. Up to 500 miners managed to escape when water rushed into the mine. China has the deadliest safety record for mine accidents. More than 5,000 died in mine accidents last year, and at least 2,100 have been killed this year alone [CNN].

In the US, families and relatives of 6 miners trapped in Utah are also angry at authorities. They say that rescue efforts to free the men have been halted and that the authorities have “given” up on the men. It is feared 6 miners trapped in the Crandall Canyon mine may be dead. The miners have been trapped since the 6th August after a collapse which owners of the mine say was caused by an earthquake. There is some evidence for this in that a 4.5 earthquake occurred nearby [39.465N, 111.236W] at 02:48 local time the same day [08:48 GMT]. The mine is situated 5.8 km to the east. Authorities dismiss the theory however and blame is focussing on whether mining methods were the cause of the collapse. The attempted rescue has resulted in further tragedy with 3 team members being killed and another 6 injured [CNN].

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