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45 rescued from the coal mining accidents in China

 In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, rescuers carry an injured miner out of the Qianqiu Coal Mine of Yima Coal Group in Sanmenxia Ci...
 In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, rescued miners are helped to walk out of a coal mine after being trapped underground for more t...

China Miners Trapped

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, rescuers carry an injured miner out of the Qianqiu Coal Mine of Yima Coal Group in Sanmenxia Ci...

China Miners Trapped

In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, rescued miners are helped to walk out of a coal mine after being trapped underground for more t...

Forty five miners trapped underground after a rock blast in a Chinese coal mine were brought to the surface Saturday in a rare successful rescue, CCTV state television reported.

Eight people had been confirmed killed by Thursday’s accident at the Qianqiu colliery in the central province of Henan, it said. Another 21 had earlier been brought out.

(AFP) Emergency personnel had to dig a tunnel at a depth of several hundred meters to reach the trapped men, and CCTV showed miners emerging from the colliery’s main lift more than 36 hours after the blast.

Some were still wearing their miner’s lamps, and all of them looked tired and had blackened faces.

The last miner to be rescued was carried out on a stretcher and immediately taken away by ambulance.

The miners were trapped by a rock burst -- a violent explosion caused by huge pressure -- moments after a minor 2.9 magnitude earthquake, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

It was not immediately clear whether the earthquake directly caused the accident.

The colliery is part of the Henan Yima Coal Mine Group, a giant state-owned mining company.

While mining accidents are common in China, it is unusual for so many people to be successfully brought to the surface alive. The operation is the most successful such effort in the country since April 2010, when 115 miners were rescued after eight days trapped underground at a mine in northern China.

In October last year 33 workers trapped underground for 69 days in a mine under Chile’s Atacama Desert were pulled out in a dramatic 22-hour rescue.

The incident was the latest to hit the hazardous mining industry in China, and came days after a gas explosion at a state-owned coal mine in neighboring Hunan province left 29 miners dead.

Earlier in October, blasts at mines in the southwestern city of Chongqing and the northern province of Shaanxi killed 13 and 11 miners respectively.

In 2010, 2,433 people died in coal mining accidents in China, according to official statistics.

China’s rapid economic growth has caused demand for energy, including coal, to surge. Critics say some mining bosses have put the safety of workers at risk in their pursuit of profit.