08/20/2007, 00.00
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Flooded Mine: miners families attack police

While rescue efforts continue at the two Xintai coal mines relatives of the 181 trapped workers ask for clarification on the fate of their loved ones and for an investigation into the circumstances. 4 days after the disaster hopes fade that they may still be a live.

Xintai (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Relief efforts continue to bring to safety the 181 trapped since August 17th in two Xintai coal mines, Shandong province, flooded by heavy rainfall.  Hopes of finding survivors are fading while relatives yesterday clashed with police present on the di aster site.

Frustrated by a lack of information on the fate of their loved ones followed by rumours of an “interruption in rescue operations”, caused over 200 relatives to break down the gate of the mines South entrance, where over 172 workers are trapped underground.  Many family members broke into the compound, clashing with police.  “I heard they stopped pumping water out of the mine” said Zhou Feng, 25, whose father was trapped in the mine “It is the same as saying they have given up”. “We don't know if there are any survivors. Someone should keep us better informed," said Zhang Tao, who was seeking news about his missing uncle.


At the western gate of the same mine another group of relatives clashed with officers.  Some threw stones against the administration offices.  There have been no reports of injuries, but eye-witnesses report a terrible atmosphere.  Now the victims relatives are asking for a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disaster.


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