Beijing, Jan 24 (efe-epa).- Rescue workers on Sunday evacuated one of the 22 miners trapped for two weeks in an under-construction goldmine in an east China mine, according to official media reports.
According to Xinhua news agency, the rescued miner is “extremely weak.”
A total of 22 miners got trapped about 600 meters underground on Jan.10 after a blast in Qixia’s Yantai city in eastern Shandong province.
Authorities have reported that they have established contact with 10 of the trapped miners, who are communicating with rescuers.
They are in good physical and psychological condition, Xinhua said.
A miner was presumed dead as he did not show vital signs days after he felt unconscious from injuries to his head.
Authorities have said it could take more than two weeks to lift the miners as rescuers were drilling into a heavily blocked shaft to extract the survivors.
The drilling of the shaft with a 711-millimeter diameter bit began on Wednesday.
Rescuers said they had sent food, clothes, and other supplies to the 10 miners through a channel amid a race against the clock to dig into the blocked mine shaft to set up an escape route.
However, experts believe that at a depth of at least 350 meters in the well, there is “a blockage” of about 1,300 cubic meters and 70 tons, in addition to the clutter of cables, pipes, and ventilation ducts.
The rescue is also challenging because it took around 30 hours for the accident to be reported, which has led to an official probe, arrests, and dismissal of the two highest political leaders in the area.
Chinese mining operations, especially coal, the main source of energy in the country, register a high accident rate, although, in recent years, the number of fatal accidents has dropped significantly. EFE-EPA