Date registered: May 2005
Vehicle: 1982 300CD
Location: South Carolina
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Chinese miners survive on coal and urine
This is why they're surprised we got all bent out of shape over a little antifreeze and lead paint. Their workers eat coal and drink urine!
Updated: 10:24 a.m. ET Aug 28, 2007
BEIJING - Two Chinese brothers who tunneled their way out of a coal mine collapse after being trapped for nearly six days survived by eating coal and drinking urine, a local newspaper reported Tuesday.
Brothers Meng Xianchen and Meng Xianyou became trapped while working at an illegal mine in Beijingâ€™s Fangshan District late Aug. 18, the latest in a series of disasters to strike the worldâ€™s deadliest coal mining industry.
Two days later, rescue efforts were called off and relatives began burning â€śghost moneyâ€ť at the entrance of the mine for the dearly departed.
â€śAt first there was no feeling, but then I was so hungry I couldnâ€™t crawl any more,â€ť Xianchen told the Beijing News. â€śI got so hungry, I ate a piece of coal, and I thought it quite fragrant.
â€śActually, coal is bitter and unsmooth but you can chew up pieces the size of a finger. In the mine, we picked up two discarded water bottles, and drank our urine. You can only take small sips, and when youâ€™ve finished, you just want to cry.â€ť
He said because they were eating coal, and were in the mine for nearly six days, they did not defecate.
â€śWe were only able to do that the day before yesterday in hospital. It was full of coal.â€ť
Both said they would not go back into mining.
But their younger brother, Meng Xianjun, who has a decade of experience in the mines, cut in to the interview to add: â€śIâ€™ll still do it.â€ť
Flouting safety regulations
Chinese mine owners regularly flout safety regulations to meet insatiable demand for a fuel powering the countryâ€™s booming economy.
A gas explosion in an Inner Mongolian mine that was operating illegally killed seven people Saturday, as officials began handing compensation to families of 181 miners trapped and presumed dead after a flood last week in eastern China.
But in a second miraculous rescue, four builders trapped more than a week ago inside a collapsed tunnel at a hydropower project in the southwestern province of Yunnan were pulled out alive early Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Rescuers in Yunnanâ€™s Yingjiang County dug an extra passage to reach the workers and used a ventilation pipe to carry food and drinking water to the four, who were being treated in a local hospital following their rescue.