Beijing: Sounds were heard on Monday from a flooded Chinese mine were 22 workers have been trapped since Tuesday.
The knocking came from a 920-foot (280-meter) pipe that was drilled to allow fresh air into the illegal mine in Qitaihe, in Heilongjiang province in the northeast of China, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Twenty-six miners were trapped on August 23 when workers broke through into an adjacent flooded pit.
Xinhua said three miners were rescued on Saturday and one body has been recovered.
The mine had been ordered shut in 2007 but was reopened without permission on August 16, Xinhua said, citing the provincial bureau of occupational safety.
China's mines are notoriously deadly, although safety improvements have cut annual fatalities by about one-third from a high of 6,995 in 2002 despite a tripling in the output of coal used to generate the vast majority of China's electrical power.
More such rescues are also taking place. In April 2010, 115 miners were pulled from a flooded mine in the northern province of Shanxi after more than a week underground.
First Published: Monday, August 29, 2011, 09:01