Rescuers in China hear 'knocking' as they scramble to save 22 coal miners
Rescuers prepare to enter a flooded coal pit last week to rescue trapped workers in China's Hengtai coal mine.
August 29th, 2011
11:49 AM ET

Rescuers in China hear 'knocking' as they scramble to save 22 coal miners

Rescuers struggling to save 22 miners trapped underground in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province reported hearing "knocking sounds" within the mine early Monday, according to state-run media.

The report from the Hengtai coal mine, which has been flooded for a week, came about 2 a.m. after rescuers knocked on the sides of a 900-foot-deep hole that was drilled Sunday to make contact with the miners. The knocking is believed to be a response from the miners, Xinhua reported.

Relief supplies including food, a lamp, pen and paper were lowered down the hole, and something shook the rope to which the package was tied, but when rescuers brought the package back to the surface, it remained unopened, Xinhua said.

Forty-five miners were working Tuesday when the flooding occurred. Nineteen miners escaped, Xinhua reported, and rescue workers are attempting to pump water out of the mine.

Three miners were rescued Saturday, and the body of a dead miner was brought to the surface early Sunday.

Li Guiying, 43, a wife of one of the miners, told Xinhua that her husband earns about 6,000 yuan ($940) a month and is the breadwinner for their family, which includes two children, 4 and 12.

"What should I do if he dies?" Li asked.

The news agency reported that Hengtai mine is one of many operating illegally, despite government attempts to shut down outdated mines. The mine was ordered closed in 2007, but the owner reopened the mine without permission earlier this month, Xinhua reported, citing the local work safety bureau.

Two officials have been sacked over the incident, which occurred when miners accidentally drilled into a neighboring mine, Global Times reported.

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Filed under: China • Coal mining • Mine accidents • Mining • World
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Jacki Chan Miagi

    Buy switch, save planet.. Coal good clean source of power though. You get power of dragon by drinking from black white sperm fountain.. Thanks for letting me borrow Jaden Mr.Smith.. 😉

    August 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gatorback

    Where to begin...

    August 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Don

    But coal isn't dangerous like nuclear power, right?

    August 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. petercha

    Let's hoping they get all the miners out safe and sound.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. McJesus

    where are all the comments calling for 'prayer' to help the miners out?

    August 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      Buddhists don't believe in Jesus.

      August 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. petercha

    Oooops, meant to say "Let's HOPE they get all the miners out safe and sound".

    August 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gandalf the Brown (cat)

    One of the most dangerous jobs in the world for $11,000/yr. Now THAT is a joke.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teri

      That's a lot in China.

      August 29, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chinaman

      $11,000.00 buy me many cats. Yum yum.. Feline Dim Sum

      August 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Greenie

    They should run power plants on electric, much safer than fossil fuels.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • AndrewM

      1. You're saying we should use electricity to make electricity...
      2. 2/3rds of China's electricity comes from coal plants.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • T3chsupport

      You are an absolute genius. Did you figure that out yourself?

      August 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brownie

      I'm guessing that was either sarcasm or a typo.. You should have reported abuse on yourself and deleted the comment.

      August 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greenie

      The perpetual power plant.
      lighten up guys.

      August 30, 2011 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
  9. lowtide

    Very strange that they heard knocking and felt something shake the rope yet when they pulled the rescue package back up it was unopened.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • DC

      tugging was probably from dropping the package in a moving current of water. Hopefully the knocking was from the miners.

      August 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • FauxNews

      That was the trapped miners way of telling them thanks for the rescue package, but we can't afford it until payday.

      August 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. aNN

    evil people trying to be funny again

    August 29, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ObammaAlabamaSlamma

    Everyone knows that river demons love to propagate in mines...the humans are long dead, the river demons are just trying to lure more of us down.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gandolf The White (Not in a racist way though)

    @Randolf The Brown: Haha.. You've been smoking too much of the green leaf old friend.. It's made you slow.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gandalf the Brown (cat)

      Sorry, I am only a cat. I like playing with the mouse tho...

      August 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gator Needs His Gat


    August 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. boogietime

    Sad. Unfortunate. Now the junk at Walmart is going to go up in price.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Pita


    August 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
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