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Over 30 trapped in two Chinese mines

media Rescuers at a coal mine in Yuzhou, Henan province, in October Reuters

As the world waits to see if 29 New Zealand miners will be saved, 31 miners are trapped by floods in two Chinese mines. A flood in a coalmine in China's south-west China Sichuan province trapped 28 people on Sunday, state media reported, citing local authorities. Three others are reported trapped in the south.

A total of 41 miners were working in the Batian coal mine when the flood hit, but 13 escaped, the report said.

A rescue operation is in progress and the whereabouts of the trapped miners were not immediately known.

Three workers were trapped by flood in an iron ore mine in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the south of the country on Saturday night, Xinhua also reported. Rescue workers were still trying to free them Sunday afternoon.

Chinese mines are notoriously dangerous due to the widespread flouting of safety rules, usually blamed on mine operators trying to keep costs down, with coalmining particularly accident-prone.

Last year 2,631 Chinese miners were killed, according to official statistics, but independent labour groups say the true figure is likely to be much higher as many accidents are believed to be covered up.

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