BEIJING, July 4 (UPI) -- Rescuers in southwest China's Guizhou province worked against time Monday to find 23 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine since Saturday.
The effort included laying cables to provide electricity for the rescue crews trying to reach the victims trapped in the 300-foot-deep Niupeng Coal Mine in Pingtang County, China Daily reported.
The rescuers also were trying to carry pipes and heavy pumps down the mine's shaft to pump out the water in the pit.
A local government official said more than 1,000 police officers, firefighters and paramilitary personnel had been mobilized to help in the rescue effort.
A miner who escaped was quoted as telling China National Radio, chances of survival of the trapped miners were "very slim".
Heavy rainfall and a damaged drainage system were blamed for the mine flooding, which occurred Saturday morning, Xinhua news agency reported.
Earlier reports said 21 miners were trapped but the numbers were changed to 23 after two more were reported missing.
It was while crews were checking damage to the drainage system when the mine got flooded, the report said. Safety officials said serious water leakage from the drainage system should have alerted the mine managers.
In another weekend incident, three workers died when a coal mine in Guangxi Zhuang province, collapsed, Xinhua said. Officials against blamed several days of heavy rains for that accident.