Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 47796
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2018/04/25 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
4/25    

2007/8/29-31 [Politics, Politics/Foreign/Asia/China] UID:47796 Activity:nil
8/29    a rare tale of survival in China's coal mines, the world's deadliest,
        where an average of 13 workers are killed every day.
        http://csua.org/u/jev
        \_ racist
           \_ Oh, no, the mines are equal opportunity death traps.
        \_ Ate coal, huh?  How many calories in 100 grams of coal?
           \_ I would imagine quite a lot, or it wouldn't be such a good fuel.
              However, whether theyre digestable or not is another question...
2018/04/25 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
4/25    

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Cache (4439 bytes)
csua.org/u/jev -> www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/20070828-1150-china-minersescape.html
By Anita Chang ASSOCIATED PRESS 11:50 am August 28, 2007 BEIJING - The Meng brothers felt pretty good about their chances of making it out of the collapsed coal mine, until the sound of digging from outside stopped. With no food or water, they were forced to eat coal and drink their own urine from discarded bottles. When they were too exhausted to try to dig themselves out, they slept huddled together in the cold and dark. Meng Xianchen and Meng Xianyou finally clawed their way to the surface after nearly six days underground - a rare tale of survival in China's coal mines, the world's deadliest, where an average of 13 workers are killed every day. The two even managed to crack jokes about their wives remarrying once they were dead after they emerged Friday from the illegal mine - which had no oxygen, ventilation or emergency exits - in Beijing's Fangshan district. "At the beginning, our cell phone still had power so there was a little bit of light. Two days later, the battery ran out so we could only feel with our fingers and listen," the brothers told the state-run Beijing News in a report published Tuesday. Details of the veteran miners' ordeal came as rescuers in northeastern China's Shandong province tried to reach 181 miners trapped in two flooded coal shafts. Officials said Tuesday they had not given up hope even though the workers' chances of survival were dim after 11 days. If those workers are found dead, it would be among the worst accidents of its kind in 58 years of communist rule, second only to an explosion that killed 214 miners in 2005. The government has pledged to improve safety, but owners flout safety rules and illegal operations abound to fuel the country's growing energy needs. Doctors have said the Mengs had kidney damage from lack of water but no other major injuries after being trapped for more than 130 hours. Beijing News ran a photo of the men dressed in hospital gowns, looking gaunt but standing and clasping each others' hand while surrounded by relatives. Rescuers had called off efforts to save the Mengs after more than a day, and grieving family members burned ceremonial "ghost money" for the men's souls to use in the afterlife. They left food offerings of steamed buns, cakes and canned goods at the mine entrance. Officials have said rescue work was halted after experts determined there was no chance the brothers, from the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, had survived. Efforts to extract them would also have put rescuers at risk, they said. "After the collapse we could hear digging outside, so we felt optimistic. We thought our brothers outside were coming to rescue us," the men were quoted as saying. Despairing, Meng Xianyou said: "I told my brother, your wife is going to have to marry someone else." "I said, 'Right, I had been thinking about buying an apartment in town for my wife and it was going to be someone else's,'" Meng Xianchen added. "I laughed too, I said my wife could find a rich man in Shenyang. But then I thought, I have two children and my wife is ugly, so it'd be hard for her to remarry," his brother joked. The Mengs said they dug three horizontal tunnels but stopped because they felt they were going in the wrong direction. Then they started digging a vertical tunnel, which ultimately reached the surface. "We were thinking about digging toward the surface so we dug a tunnel at a 75 degree angle. We thought, every meter we dig is one meter closer to the surface," they said. The men, who each had 20 years of coal mining experience, clawed through nearly 66 feet of coal and rock with a pick and their hands. It took three hours to dig half a yard, they said, taking turns working because the tunnel was so narrow. "At first we didn't feel hungry, but later on, we were so hungry we couldn't even crawl," Meng Xianchen said. "At the end, we were so hungry we ate coal and thought it tasted delicious." They also had no water and were forced to drink urine using two empty water bottles they found in the coal shaft. After drinking it we wanted to cry," Meng Xianchen said. The Mengs said they had worked for state-owned mines in the past but turned to the illegal mine because they got paid about every two weeks, as opposed to once a month. Still, they said they made only about $265 each a month for working 12 hours a day. Now we just want to go home safely and put this behind us," the newspaper quoted the brothers as saying.