Beijing: Sounds of tapping and maybe shouts were heard on Friday coming from the pipes of a flooded Chinese coal mine where 153 workers were trapped more than five days earlier, a rescue official said.
Rescuer Zhao Chuan said that rescuers at the Wangjialing mine in Shanxi province heard what sounded like people knocking on pipes around 2 pm (0600 GMT) local time, the first signs of life since the mine was flooded with water Sunday afternoon.
Zhao said he had heard from colleagues that another rescue team reported hearing people shouting underground as well but he could not yet immediately confirm that account.
Government officials have said the flood was triggered when workers digging tunnels broke through into an old shaft filled with water. Rescuers have been working around the clock to pump water out of the mine.
Zhao was quoted by China Central Television as saying that rescuers plan to send milk and other liquid nutrition down pipes into the mine. He also told the broadcaster that an iron wire was found tied to a drill rod and rescuers think it may have been attached by one of the trapped miners.