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China Coal Mine Tunnel Collapse Traps 40

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BEIJING — Fifty-three rescuers have been freed after becoming trapped while trying to save five coal miners stuck underground when a tunnel collapsed at a southwest China mine.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the rescuers had been trying to help five miners trapped since the tunnel at the Anlilai mine in Guizhou province collapsed on Wednesday.

But as they tried to enter the mine, the tunnel collapsed a second time and trapped the rescuers. Xinhua said the 53 were pulled out Thursday through a freshly-dug tunnel.

The work to reach the five trapped miners was continuing.

China's coal mines are among the world's deadliest and have frequent explosions, cave-ins and floods. Repeated safety crackdowns have lowered the death rate, but hundreds of fatalities still occur every year.

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