China mine accident: first worker rescued after two weeks underground

Figcaption China Mine Accident First Worker Rescued After Two Weeks Underground
Posted at: Author: Rain TV UK

A miner has been rescued from a gold mine in northern China and rushed to hospital for treatment, state broadcaster CCTV said, after being trapped 14 days below ground by an explosion.

The miner was “extremely weak”, according to a post on CCTV’s Weibo microblog site. TV footage showed the exhausted miner, a black blindfold across his eyes, being lifted out of the mine shaft and covered in a blanket before being carried away by rescue workers.

At least 15 more days to reach trapped miners, say Chinese officials Read more

Twenty-two workers were trapped in the Hushan mine by the 10 January blast in Qixia, a major gold-producing region under the administration of Yantai in coastal Shandong province.

Rescuers have been battling difficult conditions to help the workers amid rising waters following the explosion.

Contact was first established a week ago with a group of 11 miners trapped in a section of the mine around 580 metres (1,900 feet) below the surface.

One of them was seriously injured in the initial explosion and has been confirmed dead after suffering head injuries and falling into a coma.

Rescue teams have been lowering food, medicine and other supplies through several “lifeline” shafts drilled into the rock. Life detectors and nutrient solutions have been lowered to other parts of the mine to find the other missing miners.

The rescued miner was found in a section closer to the surface than the section where the first group are located, CCTV reported. State media footage on Sunday showed several tall drills boring down.

A twelfth miner is believed to be trapped on his own, 100 metres further down in rising waters.

For the other nine miners, hopes were dwindling as they have not been heard from since the explosion.

Rescue workers said on Friday it could take at least another two weeks to free the miners, citing a massive blockage that has delayed drilling efforts, according to state media. Rescuers were trying to widen one of the shafts to eventually allow the workers to be brought up to the surface.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.

In December, 23 workers died after becoming stuck underground in the southwestern city of Chongqing.

Reuters and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

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