China mine tragedy: 10 workers confirmed dead, one still missing
SHANGHAI (CHINA) – A Chinese official said on Monday that after the dramatic rescue of 11 workers trapped in a gold mine, rescuers have found nine bodies. This brings the mine tragedy death toll to 10 and one miner is still missing.
As many as 22 miners were trapped 600 feet underground after a blast in the Hushan gold mine in Qixia, a major production hub of the precious metal in Shandong province, on Jan. 10.
After being trapped underground for two weeks, 11 of them were rescued on Sunday, including one miner who is in a weak condition.
According to Yantai Mayor Chen Fei, rescue workers continued the search from Sunday to Monday and recovered the bodies of nine workers.
As many as 10 miners are confirmed to have died following the earlier death of one worker in the mine who went into a coma. Their remains have been brought out of the mine, Chen said, adding that one person is still missing.
Despite the fact that the search is difficult as the water levels are high, it will go on until the missing worker is found.
The 11 miners were rescued much earlier than anticipated as it emerged that steel pipes in the blocked mine shaft prevented debris from falling, said state media.
The most feasible way to bring up the workers was through the air ventilation shaft, which had been cleared to a depth of 368 metres (1,207 feet), Xiao Wenru, chief engineer for the mine rescue, told state news agency on Monday.
“It is at this location we discovered that there were some steel pipes supporting the blockage … there is almost no blockage under the steel pipes,” said Xiao.
The rescued miners are in good condition. Earlier, officials had said they would have to wait for another 15 days before being rescued because of the blockage along their escape route.