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Rescuers enter mine shaft to reach trapped miners


Rescue workers gather to enter the flooded coal mine shaft in Leiyang, central China's Hunan Province, Dec. 3, 2020. Dozens of rescue workers entered a flooded coal mine shaft in central China's Hunan Province Thursday to search for 13 trapped miners. The new-stage rescue came after four days of pumping water out of the flooded Yuanjiangshan coal mine in the city of Leiyang, creating space for the rescue workers to launch the underground rescue operation, according to the local rescue headquarters. (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

Rescue workers gather to enter the flooded coal mine shaft in Leiyang, central China’s Hunan Province, Dec. 3, 2020. Dozens of rescue workers entered a flooded coal mine shaft in central China’s Hunan Province Thursday to search for 13 trapped miners. The new-stage rescue came after four days of pumping water out of the flooded Yuanjiangshan coal mine in the city of Leiyang, creating space for the rescue workers to launch the underground rescue operation, according to the local rescue headquarters. (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

Rescue workers enter the flooded coal mine shaft in Leiyang, central China's Hunan Province, Dec. 3, 2020. Dozens of rescue workers entered a flooded coal mine shaft in central China's Hunan Province Thursday to search for 13 trapped miners. The new-stage rescue came after four days of pumping water out of the flooded Yuanjiangshan coal mine in the city of Leiyang, creating space for the rescue workers to launch the underground rescue operation, according to the local rescue headquarters. (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

Rescue workers enter the flooded coal mine shaft in Leiyang, central China’s Hunan Province, Dec. 3, 2020. Dozens of rescue workers entered a flooded coal mine shaft in central China’s Hunan Province Thursday to search for 13 trapped miners. The new-stage rescue came after four days of pumping water out of the flooded Yuanjiangshan coal mine in the city of Leiyang, creating space for the rescue workers to launch the underground rescue operation, according to the local rescue headquarters. (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

Rescue workers enter the flooded coal mine shaft in Leiyang, central China's Hunan Province, Dec. 3, 2020. Dozens of rescue workers entered a flooded coal mine shaft in central China's Hunan Province Thursday to search for 13 trapped miners. The new-stage rescue came after four days of pumping water out of the flooded Yuanjiangshan coal mine in the city of Leiyang, creating space for the rescue workers to launch the underground rescue operation, according to the local rescue headquarters. (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

Rescue workers enter the flooded coal mine shaft in Leiyang, central China’s Hunan Province, Dec. 3, 2020. Dozens of rescue workers entered a flooded coal mine shaft in central China’s Hunan Province Thursday to search for 13 trapped miners. The new-stage rescue came after four days of pumping water out of the flooded Yuanjiangshan coal mine in the city of Leiyang, creating space for the rescue workers to launch the underground rescue operation, according to the local rescue headquarters. (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

Ambulances are seen at the site of a coal mine flooding accident in Leiyang, central China's Hunan Province, Dec. 3, 2020. Dozens of rescue workers entered a flooded coal mine shaft in central China's Hunan Province Thursday to search for 13 trapped miners. The new-stage rescue came after four days of pumping water out of the flooded Yuanjiangshan coal mine in the city of Leiyang, creating space for the rescue workers to launch the underground rescue operation, according to the local rescue headquarters. (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

Ambulances are seen at the site of a coal mine flooding accident in Leiyang, central China’s Hunan Province, Dec. 3, 2020. Dozens of rescue workers entered a flooded coal mine shaft in central China’s Hunan Province Thursday to search for 13 trapped miners. The new-stage rescue came after four days of pumping water out of the flooded Yuanjiangshan coal mine in the city of Leiyang, creating space for the rescue workers to launch the underground rescue operation, according to the local rescue headquarters. (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

CHANGSHA, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) — Dozens of rescue workers entered a flooded coal mine shaft in central China’s Hunan Province Thursday to search for 13 trapped miners.

The new-stage rescue came after four days of pumping water out of the flooded Yuanjiangshan coal mine in the city of Leiyang, creating space for the rescue workers to launch the underground rescue operation, according to the local rescue headquarters.

The flooding, at approximately 11:30 a.m. Sunday, trapped a total of 13 mine workers.

At around 10 a.m. on Thursday, over 40 rescue workers, wearing headlamps and equipped with respirators and rescue equipment, entered the mine shaft to clear sludge and search for the trapped miners.

“All the water in the shaft has almost been pumped out, and we are expanding our search scope,” said one rescue worker.

Officials said the province mobilized 14 rescue teams with more than 920 people for the rescue effort, which is hampered by the complicated underground conditions.

At the site, a number of medical workers with over 20 ambulances are ready to offer emergency treatment for any retrieved coal mine workers. 

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