Trapped Miners Still Alive, Many Days After Cave-In
Rescuers pulled out a note that told them 12 miners were still alive deep underground, but water was rising around the survivors
QIXIA, YANTAI CITY, CHINA — This crumpled note is famous in China as it proved that at least 12 miners were still alive on Monday 18 January, after 22 miners were trapped deep underground eight days before.
The ongoing drama started when an explosion caused yet another deadly cave-in at yet another mine in China.
Rescuers in China broke into a loud cheer on the afternoon of Sunday 17 January when they finally heard signs of life after drilling rescue holes for seven days.
According to the BBC, the rescue attempt started on 10 January, after an explosion caused a cave-in in a gold mine near Qixia city, trapping 22 miners 600 meters underground.
After seven days of drilling multiple holes, rescuers suddenly heard clanging sounds coming from one of the holes on Sunday afternoon.
Rescuers then lowered oxygen and basic supplies, including pencils and paper, down the hole at around 10 PM.
Half an hour later, they could feel the survivors pulling the cable they had sent down.
One hour after that, rescuers pulled the cable up and retrieved a hand-written note that stated the exact position of the survivors, adding that they were twelve in number, with four injured, and that they did not know what had happened to ten other miners who had also been trapped in the mine.
The note also pleaded for rescuers to work fast as there was a lot of water around the survivors, and many of them had serious injuries.
Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are weakly enforced. In December, 23 miners died after being trapped in a mine in the south-western city of Chongqing.
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