Floods Trap 180 Chinese Miners
Officials have little hope of rescuing trapped men
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2007 9:34 AM CDT
In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, rescuers prepare to install drain pipes for rescue work outside a flooded coal mine in Xintai, a city in east China's Shandong province Saturday,...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Flash flooding complicated efforts in eastern China today to rescue 180 miners trapped underground, and officials warned the men had little chance of survival. Pummeled by hours of downpour, an overwhelmed river breached its levee and gushed rushing waters into the Shandong coal mine, where 756 people had been working. Most were able to escape, leaving 172 trapped.

A nearby mine reported as many as nine of its workers were also trapped due to excessive rains. Rescuers worked to release the miners, but a mine safety director said relatives were bracing for the worst. China is home to the world’s most dangerous mines, AFP reports, with fatal accidents happening almost every day.