15 more days to reach trapped China mine workers, authorities say

15 more days to reach trapped China mine workers, authorities say

Rescuers are seen at the site where workers were trapped underground after an explosion at the gold
FILE PHOTO: Rescuers are seen at the site where workers were trapped underground after an explosion at the gold mine under construction, in Qixia, Shandong province, China January 20, 2021. China Daily via REUTERS

BEIJING: It will take at least 15 more days to get through a massive amount of debris and reach miners already trapped for 11 days since an explosion in a gold mine in eastern China, authorities said on Thursday (Jan 21).

The mine shaft is blocked 350m below the surface by 70 tons of debris that extends down another 100m, the Yantai city government said in a statement on its social media account.

“Based on expert evaluations, the extent of the blockage ... is well out of expectations,” the statement said.

READ: Rescue shaft offers hope for trapped Chinese miners

One worker has died from head injuries in the explosion, state media said earlier on Thursday. Of the remaining 21, rescuers have established contact with 10, one is reportedly alive in a nearby chamber, and the status of the other 10 is unknown.

The deceased worker had been in a coma. Two others are said to be in poor health. Rescuers have delivered food, medicine and other supplies to the group of 11 as they work to remove debris and improve ventilation.

FILE PHOTO: Rescue teams work on saving workers trapped underground after an explosion at the gold
FILE PHOTO: Rescue teams work on saving workers trapped underground after an explosion at the gold mine under construction in Qixia, Shandong province, China, January 12, 2021. Picture taken January 12, 2021. cnsphoto via REUTERS/File Photo

The state media reports said exhaustion has set in among some of the workers since the Jan 10 explosion ripped through the mine that was under construction in Qixia, a jurisdiction under Yantai in Shandong province.

Rescuers were attempting to clear cages and other debris blocking the main shaft while drilling other shafts for communication, ventilation and possibly to lift workers to the surface. Boring has reached depths of around 700m, the reports said.

READ: Rescuers in phone contact with workers trapped in China mine

Mine managers have been detained for waiting more than 24 hours before reporting the accident, the cause of which has not been announced.

Increased supervision has improved safety in China’s mining industry, which used to average 5,000 deaths per year. Yet demand for coal and precious metals continues to prompt corner-cutting, and two accidents in Chongqing last year killed 39 miners.

Source: AP

Bookmark