Mine collapse in China traps 18 workers; 11 rescued

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Beijing - Chinese rescuers pulled 11 workers to safety and located another 18 who were trapped after a mine collapsed in the eastern province of Shandong, state media said on Saturday.

The official Xinhua News Agency said all 29 workers were accounted for, although the 18 remained trapped at two sites and could not be immediately rescued.

The Pingyi county government said that the gypsum mine owned by Yurong Commercial and Trade Ltd Co caved in on Friday and left 19 workers missing in initial tallies. The other 10 were rescued on Friday.

Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral that is widely used in construction.

Xinhua said rescuers lifted one miner, whose leg was struck under a boulder, from the shaft on Saturday morning.

The mine collapse came just days after a landslide from a man-made pileup of construction waste in the southern city of Shenzhen killed one person and left another 75 missing and presumed dead.

Authorities on Friday ruled that the landslide was not a geological disaster but a work safety incident, adding to China's list of major man-made disasters in recent years.

China's mines have long been the world's deadliest, but safety improvements have reduced deaths in recent years.

Last year, 931 people were killed in mine accidents throughout China, drastically down from the year 2002, when nearly 7 000 miners were killed.

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