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Background: 153 miners are still being trapped in a Chinese flooded coal mine. We don't know how many are alive and how many are dead. A China's English news channel reports:

If they did not survive, it would be China's most disastrous mining accident since 2007.

The report is written in subjunctive mood, but I think the hypothesis is real. Isn't it better to say:
If they do not survive, it will be China's most disastrous mining accident since 2007. ??

Thank you.
Comments  
You are correct it would be better to place it in the present tense rather than the past. I think that the whole post will be an example of what we call pervasive text.
Each one, to me, is correct, depending on the persepctives of the author.
jiaruchanIf they do not survive, it will be China's most disastrous mining accident since 2007.
This seems to carry an subtle message that the miners are unlikely to survive the disaster.
jiaruchan"If they did not survive, it would be China's most disastrous mining accident since 2007.
This seems (to me) to imply a more optimistic mood suggesting the odds are good that they are rescued.

That's how it appears to me.
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Yes Dimsum. That is why I thought it to be a pervasive text, are the miners unlikely to survive or is that the writers opinion?
My 73 year old ear has a taste for the existing text.

Reporters love suspenseful disaster stories. Of course they want to play up the possibility that the miners may not survive! This means the story has legs.

I think using the unreal covers the reporter's butt. It makes him seem less macabre.
"We don't know how many are alive and how many are dead."
We do not know whether they have survived. If they did not, that would be...
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It had been eight days,and the rescue was much slower than all we thought it would be.

153 people were traped in a cold,flooded,full of gas coal mine. No food,no water,maybe no air too.

I believe miracle but I don't believe they are gonna survive.

This kind of thoughts seem to be a cruelty.

But,base on the fact.I think the auther has the same opinion.

So ,"if they don't. that will......" make much sense to me.