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 Trapped China miners ate paper & belt to survive

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Jason
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Registration date : 2007-04-06

PostSubject: Trapped China miners ate paper & belt to survive   Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:05 am

BEIJING, Dec 10- Eleven Chinese miners trapped underground for nearly six days by a tunnel collapse ate paper and chewed on a boiled leather belt to stay alive, local media said on Monday.

The miners were pulled out alive from the illegal iron and gold mine in northern China early on Sunday, the Beijing News said, in a rare bit of good news from the world's deadliest mines, after a tunnel collapsed last Monday.

"At first, we ate newspaper pages when we got hungry, then orange peel," the paper quoted Wu Pengyong, a 33-year-old miner, as saying.

"Later we got really hungry. I had a leather belt. I boiled it but it wouldn't cook. I divided this half-cooked belt out with everyone to eat," Wu said.

The mine owner delayed reporting the accident and tried launching his own rescue operation, the paper said.

Local authorities had also failed to disclose details of the rescue to media, the paper said, and many journalists had been "obstructed in different ways" from reporting at the site.

China has the world's deadliest mining industry with thousands of miners dying in gas blasts, collapses and floods every year. Scores die in rescue attempts launched by mine bosses seeking to cover up accidents at illegally-run mines.

Police are still hunting for the owner of a coal mine in northern Shanxi province where the bodies of at least 105 people have been recovered after an explosion last Wednesday, the Shanghai Daily said in a separate report.

Authorities have already detained 33 coal mine managers and officials after they delayed reporting the accident for five hours and tried to launch their own rescue operation.

About 50 people with no rescue training were sent underground to rescue trapped colleagues but never resurfaced, state media reported on Saturday.
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