China: one of 22 miners trapped underground has been rescued
Chinese rescuers are working to pick up miners trapped in their gold mine after an explosion on January 10, 2021 in Qixia, in northeast China's Shanghai province.
STR CNS / AFP / Archivos
Text by: RFI Follow
Helpers managed to save the first of 22 miners trapped underground in eastern China for two weeks this Sunday, January 24, CCTV state television announced.
The man, "physically weak", does not belong to the group of 10 minors with whom contact has been established with the surface, CCTV said.
Since the explosion on January 10 in this gold mine in Qixia, in the province of Shandong in eastern China, rescuers have been working to rescue workers stranded several hundred meters underground.
Public broadcaster footage showed a small forklift rising to the surface, lifted by a massive drill, inside which rescuers were found.
A masked man, who seemed unable to stand, came out.
A minor died last week from his injuries.
Ten are about 580 meters deep and are communicating by phone with the surface as rescuers have no news of the remaining 11 men.
The rescued minor was found in a section closer to the surface than where the other group is.
Two more weeks to save the miners
Drilling operations are complicated by the geological structure of the soil, made up of particularly hard rocks like granite.
Thanks to a metal cable lowered through a conduit dug in the rock, rescuers were able to transmit food, medicine and phones to the group of miners trapped 580 meters underground.
They were thus able to regain their strength.
A twelfth miner is believed to be stuck on his own, 100 meters lower in the rising waters.
For the nine other miners, hopes of successfully rescuing them fade over the days because no contact has been established with them since the explosion.
Relief workers estimated Friday that at least two weeks will still be needed to release all workers despite the frantic continuation of drilling operations.
Poorly enforced regulations
While mine safety has improved significantly over the past decades, accidents still occur regularly in China, where regulations are sometimes not enforced.
In December, 23 miners were killed in a coal mine in Chongqing in the southwest of the country.
To read also: China: the rescue of miners trapped in a gold mine holds the country in suspense
Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox
Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application
On the same subject
China: rescue of miners trapped in a gold mine keeps the country in suspense