Video: Miners rescued

updated 8/1/2007 3:12:38 AM ET 2007-08-01T07:12:38

Chinese workers on Wednesday pulled out 69 coal miners who had been trapped in a flooded shaft for more than three days, state media said, an unusual rescue in the world’s deadliest mines.

The 69 were trapped — uninjured — when the state-owned Zhijian mine in Henan province’s Shan County flooded early Sunday. Thirty-three miners managed to escape.

The trapped miners were pulled out alive midday Wednesday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. It said the first miner was met by an applauding crowd. Most of the miners were unable to walk unassisted and some were placed on stretchers.

Rescuers had piped in oxygen and poured milk down the mine’s ventilation pipes in a bid to buy time to save them.

China’s coal mines are the world’s deadliest, with fatalities reported nearly every day in fires, explosions and floods despite government efforts to improve safety.

Deadly accidents often are blamed on mine owners who disregard safety rules and fail to invest in required ventilation, fire control and other equipment.

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