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Flooded Chinese Coal Mine Traps 180 Workers; Miners Feared Dead

Rescue workers in eastern China are attempting to reach 180 miners who are trapped in a coal mine and feared dead after heavy rains caused a river to burst through a levee and flood the shaft.

A local mine official, Wang Ziqi, in China's Shandong province told the Xinhua news agency Saturday that there was little chance of finding the trapped miners alive because it is difficult to pump water out of the mine after it is flooded.

Xinhua reports that 756 miners were underground when the water swept into the mine Friday in Shandong's Xintai city. At least 576 people were rescued, but 180 still remain under ground.

Xinhua says about 2,000 troops, armed police and miners have closed up a 20-meter section of the breached levee of the Wen river.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.