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28 miners trapped in flooded Chinese pit

Twenty-eight miners were trapped last night after water flooded into a mine in China, according to state media.

The Xinhua News Agency said 41 workers were in the Batian mine in Sichuan province when the flood occurred.

It said 13 people escaped but the whereabouts of the other 28 miners is still unknown.

Xie, an official at the provincial work safety bureau, said: "We still have hope of finding them alive."

He said pumps to remove the water were on the way to the mine in Neijiang city.

An estimated 141,000 cubic feet of water was in the mining pit, he said.

The Batian mine is small and privately owned, Xie said.

China's mines are the deadliest in the world, with more than 2,600 people killed in coal mine accidents in 2009 alone.

The country's leaders have been making a high-profile push to improve mine safety.

Premier Wen Jiabao this summer ordered mining bosses into the shafts and pits with their workers or else risk severe punishment.

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From Belfast Telegraph