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Chinese Official Says No Hope of Survivors in Mine Disaster


A Chinese official says there is "no hope" of finding survivors of a flood in a coal mine that trapped 181 workers.

Shandong province deputy governor Huang Sheng told reporters Thursday that water is still being pumped out of the mine, but that there is no chance of the workers having survived.

The coal miners have been missing since Friday, when the rain-swollen Wen River burst through a levee and flooded at least two mine shafts.

Provincial authorities say violence erupted Monday between mine managers and relatives of the miners, after five men accused the officials of withholding information on the fate of their trapped relatives.

Frustrated relatives said they were getting more information from the Internet and television than from authorities at the scene.

The disaster near the city of Xintai is the latest to hit China's disaster-prone coal mines, where nearly 5,000 people died in accidents last year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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