Rescue work abandoned for 29 workers trapped in Chinese mine
Twenty-nine workers trapped in a flooded Chinese iron ore mine for one week are believed to be dead and rescue work has been abandoned, according to state press reports.
The search for the men in the Inner Mongolian mine was called off on Tuesday due to rising water levels and continued slurry pile-ups, which made rescue efforts too dangerous, Xinhua news agency said.
“Experts believe the survival chances of the miners are slim as the water level in the shaft would be well above their heads,” Xinhua said in its dispatch late on Tuesday.
“They estimated the shaft had only enough oxygen for one man to survive two days.”
Thirty-five workers were originally trapped when the mine, near Baotou city in the northern Chinese region, flooded on Wednesday last week.
Six men escaped after one day underground, but rescue workers were unable to reach the other 29.
The cause of the flooding had yet to be determined, Xinhua said.
All mines in Baotou were ordered to suspend their operations until “they were proved legal and safe after a thorough examination”, according to Xinhua.
China’s mines are considered among the most dangerous in the world, with safety standards routinely compromised in the race to extract resources needed by the country’s surging economy.