Rush to free 40 trapped miners
Beijing - A build-up of volatile gas is hampering rescue efforts in one Chinese coal mine and high levels of water are slowing them in another as emergency crews race to reach 40 miners trapped for a second day.
State media reports and local officials gave sober assessments on Sunday of the rescues under way in the two separate accidents in two southern provinces on Saturday after days of heavy rains.
At the Heshan mine, reports say rescuers need to vent explosive gas released from coal seams as they try reach the 19 trapped miners. At the Niupeng mine, where 21 are trapped, reports say industrial pumping is not yet reducing the high levels of water.
Heavy demand for coal to fuel China's economy has also made Chinese mines the world's deadliest.