Rescuers have freed the remaining 45 surviving miners trapped in a Henan coal mine after a Thursday cave-in stranded them nearly 500 meters below the surface. From Xinhua News:
A rock burst occurred in the Qianqiu Coal Mine in the city of Sanmenxia, Henan province, following a 2.9-magnitude earthquake on Thursday evening.
Of the 75 miners working in the shaft when the accident happened, 14 managed to escape and four were confirmed dead soon after accident. The remaining 57 workers were stranded in the mine.
Rescuers rescued eight workers as of Friday and found four bodies while searching for the trapped Saturday morning, bringing the total death toll to eight.
The incident in Henan comes less than a week after a gas explosion killed 29 workers in a coal mine in Hunan province, the worst accident in recent months, and also in the wake of fatal blasts at mining sites in Guizhou and Yunan. An AP report today in The Guardian notes that annual fatalities at China’s coal mines are now a third of the reported highs in 2002, though an AFP report cites campaigners who believe the true figures have been understated.