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Chinese Coal Miners Rescued from Flooded Underground Pit


Rescuers carry a survivor out of a flooded pit at Hengtai Coal Mine in Qitaihe, Heilongjiang province, August 30, 2011

Rescuers carry a survivor out of a flooded pit at Hengtai Coal Mine in Qitaihe, Heilongjiang province, August 30, 2011

Rescuers have pulled 22 Chinese coal miners from a flooded underground pit in north China where they were trapped for a week.

Chinese news media reported the miners were brought to the surface Tuesday morning in apparently good condition.

Twenty-six miners were trapped August 23 in the illegal mine near the northeastern city of Qitaihe after workers broke through into a flooded pit. Forty-five miners were underground at the time of the accident, but 19 managed to escape.

Three of the 26 were rescued Saturday and one was pulled out dead.

Hopes for the remaining 22 were revived Monday after rescuers heard noises through a 280-meter pipe drilled to allow fresh air into the pit.

China's mines are among the world's deadliest because of lax security measures. A lot of them operate illegally.

The mine where the accident took place was ordered shut in 2007, but the owners, Hengtai Coal Mining Company, reopened it without permission on August 16.

Xinhua said the head of Boli county in Heilongjiang province and his deputy were both dismissed Wednesday during an emergency meeting of the local Communist Party.

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