China mine flood: 7 killed, 3 injured

A flood at a mine in southwestern China has killed seven miners and injured three others in the latest of a spate of such disasters, the government said Friday.

The flood occurred just after midnight on Thursday morning in the Zhongcun Coal Mine in Xuanwei, a county in Yunnan province, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The three injured miners were hospitalized, it said.

The report said only 10 miners were working in the mine at the time of the accident.

Meanwhile, rescuers were working to extricate nine miners trapped underground by flooding at the Wanguang mine in Guizhou, a province bordering Yunnan, the government's Work Safety Administration reported. It said four of the 13 people working in the shaft when it flooded early Tuesday morning were killed.

Efforts also were under way to rescue three miners caught underground in the Sike Mine in central China's Hubei province, the administration said in a report posted on its Web site.

It said the three had entered the mine to investigate because it appeared the amount of methane in the shaft was above safe levels. The three were caught more than 200 meters (650 feet) underground, the report said.

Despite repeated safety campaigns, China's coal mines are notoriously dangerous, claiming about 6,000 lives each year in fires, explosions, floods and other disasters.

In yet another disaster on Thursday, a coal mine explosion and fire in Hunan province, to the south of Hubei, killed three miners and left six others missing, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Two miners escaped and another was rescued from the Shuijingtou Coal Mine in Shaodong county, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the provincial capital of Changsha, it said, reports the AP.

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