It is now feared up to 200 miners may have drowned in a flooded pit in southern China. Despite frantic rescue efforts, hopes are fading for the men who have been stranded since Sunday. One local official has been quoted as saying the volume of water in the shaft is almost that of a medium-sized reservoir. So far only four miners have managed to escape from the pit in Xingning in the province of Guangdong.
Originally it was thought 102 men were left behind but local people are said to be reporting many more miners missing. They have said more than 200 people work in the pit and that almost all were present at the time of the accident. The mine was operating without a licence, according to some reports. More than 60 of its managers are said to have fled. China’s mining industry is the deadliest in the world.