11 Chinese gold miners rescued after two weeks
Published: 02:46 PM, 24 January 2021 Updated: 02:50 PM, 24 January 2021
Chinese rescuers have freed 11 gold miners who have been trapped 600m underground for two weeks, state media report on Sunday.
TV footage showed the first miner, who was blindfolded to protect his eyes from the light, being lifted out as emergency workers cheered.
They were part of a group that had previously made contact with rescue workers, and been sent food and supplies.
The entrance tunnel to the Hushan gold mine in Shandong province collapsed after an explosion on January 10.
A total of 22 miners were trapped in the blast, the cause of which is unknown. At least one died, and it is still not clear if the remaining 10 are alive underground.
The first miner was brought to the surface on Sunday morning. He was blindfolded to protect his eyes from the light and was immediately taken to hospital for treatment, with his condition described as "extremely weak".
About an hour after his rescue, eight more miners were brought out from a different section of the mine. State broadcaster CCTV said one of the miners among this group was injured.
Several others were seen walking by themselves, supported by rescue workers, before being transported to hospital.
Rescue efforts have been sped up significantly, as a tunnel that was being bored out to reach the known trapped miners was expected to take weeks to dig.
This first man to be rescued had been trapped in a different part of the gold mine to the main group of 10 who have been receiving food and medicine for days.
The group told rescuers they had established communication with a lone miner about 100m below them, but had since lost touch with him.
Authorities have been unable to communicate with 10 other miners who remain missing. - BBC