Rescue hope dies away

AFTER 23 days, rescue operations have finally ceased and 123 miners confirmed dead at one of the worst mine accidents in China this year.

Angie Tomlinson

Water inundated the Daxing coal mine in the southern province of Guangdong on Sunday August 7. The flood occurred when miners accidentally broke through into an old, flooded mine. More than 100 of the mine's 400-strong workforce were underground 480m below the surface at the time of the accident.

The mine was operating without a license and despite a government ban on mining in the area following a flood in another mine in the area in July.

Reportedly 600 people were involved in rescue efforts, which entailed pumping the estimated 15-20 million cubic metres of water out of the pit. With the approval of the Guangdong Province, the rescue headquarters ordered the cessation of the rescue work on Monday afternoon, finding no hope of survival for the 117 miners still missing, Xinhua reported.

The bodies of six miners killed in the accident were found not long after the accident.

Prior to Monday, rescuers had to suspend efforts when a section of the mine collapsed over the weekend. Experts deemed it too dangerous for the rescuers to continue.

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