In China’s Shanxi province, 153 workers have been trapped in a flooded coal mine since Sunday. BBC reports that 261 mineworkers were in the mine when the water rushed in, and more than 100 of them were able to escape; now, nearly 1,000 rescuers are working round the clock to free the rest. According to the BBC, the trapped workers and the rescuers are also faced with a buildup of toxic gas in the mine.

In other news:

Mother Jones: More than 500 veterans have reported illnesses they think are linked to exposure to burn pits on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Washington Post: Before medical residents’ hours were capped at 80 per week in 2003, residents were accustomed to 120-hour work weeks. The lower limit has created tensions between doctors of different generations, and conflicts may worsen if the limit is lowered to 60 hours per week. 

Houston Chronicle: A US District Judge has slashed the $100 million award in the case of the 2007 chemical release at BP’s Texas City refinery; now, 10 workers (out of more than 100 affected) will receive a total of $340,660.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: In an effort detect new cases of coal worker’s pneumoconiosis, or black lung, NIOSH is offering free, confidential screenings to surface coal miners throughout the US.

Washington Post’s Federal Eye Blog: When a pilot crashed his plane into the Texas IRS building last month, “quick-thinking employees who had regularly rehearsed fire and evacuation drills” helped their co-workers get out safely.

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