World News

China miners safe after 25 days underground

BEIJING (Reuters) - Three Chinese miners survived for 25 days trapped underground by licking water off the walls of their coal mine, state media said on Sunday.

The buried miners eventually caught sight of a rescuer’s flashlight and shouted, enabling searchers to follow the sound to the pit where they lay, CCTV said.

The Xinqiao mine, in southwestern China’s Guizhou province, was flooded on June 17. At least one miner’s body was found on June 25, but 12 are still missing.

The three miners, in their mid-30s, were in a stable condition when they were lifted from the mine earlier on Sunday and could communicate in simple sentences, CCTV said. Only one was able to walk.

They were administered an IV drip but were not strong enough to be taken to hospital immediately.

The mine is licensed to produce 150,000 tonnes of coal a year. It was in violation of safety regulations, Xinhua said.

China’s coal mining industry is the world’s most dangerous, killing about 3,000 people in 2008.

Reporting by Lucy Hornby; editing by Tim Pearce