|Liu Yunqing, the first miner rescued, is carried out on a stretcher from the flooded pit of Qielichong colliery in Sandu Township of Leiyang City, central China's Hunan Province, July 8, 2012. Three miners have been saved out of the pit at 1:42 a.m. Sunday. Sixteen coal miner were trapped in the pit following a colliery flood in Leiyang on July 4. Rescuers confirmed on Sunday that 11 of the 16 trapped miners were alive and would be rescued in three groups. (Xinhua/Bai Yu)
CHANGSHA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The first group of three miners were lifted to ground early Sunday after being trapped for over three days under a flooded colliery pit in central China's Hunan province, rescuers said.
The three mine workers were pulled out of a pit of Qielichong colliery in Leiyang city, at about 1:40 a.m. and were immediately sent to a local hospital, the rescue headquarters said in a statement.
Eleven of the 16 trapped miners were cofirmed alive underground Saturday night. Many of the remaining eight workers suffered injuries and were under first-aid treatment underground before being pulled out.
Medical personnel had gone into the pit carrying stretchers and first-aid material.
The colliery flooding occurred at about 6 p.m. Wednesday when 40 miners were working underground. Of all, 24 manged to escape.
But the accident was not reported to the local government until Thursday morning, which delayed the start of the rescue operation by almost 12 hours, according to local authorities.
Six professional teams of 90 members and more than 1,000 people were at the scene to carry out rescue operations.
The mine owner, Liu Yaping, is under police custody.