BEIJING -- Sixteen coal miners in southern China have been trapped in their flooded shaft for more than 24 hours.
The official China News Service says rescuers pumped the shaft dry Thursday afternoon and were restoring air supply. It gave no word on the state of the trapped miners.
CNS says the managers of the mine in Hunan province's rich Leiyang coal belt failed to report the accident in the required time. Managers often do so to buy time and avoid punishment by either rescuing miners themselves or covering up the accident.
Mine floods usually occur when miners drill through to an abandoned shaft that has been allowed to fill with water. Along with gas explosions and cave-ins, they make China's coal mines the world's deadliest, although the death rate has fallen.