Rescuers in east China’s Shandong Province on Sunday discovered unknown sources of water above an iron ore mine shaft where 22 miners were being trapped, making the possibility of further flooding at the shaft become larger.
Rescue efforts were also hampered as the sludge had blocked the entrances of the mine shaft in Fangzi District of the city of Weifang, rescuers said.
By 5 p.m. Sunday, two bodies had been found and 22 were still being trapped, a week after the accident occurred.
The mine, belonging to Zhengdong Mining Co., was flooded at around 11 p.m. last Sunday when 31 people were working underground. Seven of them managed to escape while the remaining were trapped inside.
By 9 p.m. Saturday, rescue efforts were still going on, but were hampered by huge amount of sludge and changing water level inside the pit, rescuers said.
The miners were conducting maintenance work when the accident occurred.
An initial investigation showed that an open-air stone pit located near the mine was flooded after several days of heavy rain.
The mine got its production permit in February 2009.