CHANGSHA, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Eight miners were confirmed dead after rescue work concluded more than 20 days after a coal mine flooded in central China's Hunan province, local authorities said Monday.
The bodies of two more victims were lifted out of the shaft at the Qielichong Colliery in Leiyang on Sunday, raising the final death toll from the accident to eight, said a spokesman with the provincial coal mine safety administration.
The tragedy occurred at around 6 p.m. on July 4 when 40 miners were working underground. Twenty-four managed to escape, while the other 16 failed to reach the surface. Four days later, eight of the trapped workers were rescued alive.
Earlier reports said the accident was not immediately reported to the local government, delaying rescue operations by almost 12 hours.
The mine owner, Liu Yaping, is in police custody.