Four killed in mine mud outburst in north China

2007-12-24 19:54:13 Xinhua English

HOHHOT, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Four miners were killed after mud outburst engulfed a coal mine in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Monday, local work safety watchdog said Tuesday.

Huge amount of mud burst into a shaft used to extinguish fire from a neighboring shaft at 9:10 p.m. Monday, trapping four workers who were digging in the Tuyagou Colliery of the privately-run Taixi Coal Group Co., Ltd. in Araxan League.

Three workers managed to escape.

Rescuers have retrieved bodies of the four victims by Tuesday morning after more than ten hours of hard work.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the tragedy and people responsible for the death of the miners.

The colliery has been filling the shaft with mud as preparation against possible fire threatening coal resources. About 20,000 cubic meters of mud have been pourd into the shaft since the beginning of this year.