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Nine Rescued From Flooded Chinese Coal Mine

Nine workers have been rescued from a flooded Chinese coal mine after being trapped underground for more than a week.

Rescuers reached the nine miners at the Wangjialing mine in northern China's Shanxi province Monday after they spent 179 hours in a flooded underground shaft.

China's official Xinhua news agency says 144 other miners are still trapped, but that rescue workers heard banging on a metal pipe that may indicate further signs of life.

Xinhua reports that doctors treating the nine survivors determined their blood pressure and heart rates were normal. The news agency says thousands of people burst into applause when ambulances carrying the rescued miners passed by.

Survivors had to contend with severe thirst during their ordeal. One of the survivors reported that the murky water in the shaft was too dirty to drink.

Some 3,000 people have been working since the March 28 disaster to pump water out of the shaft so that rescuers could reach the miners. Authorities say the coal mine likely flooded after workers penetrated old or abandoned shafts that had accumulated water.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.