- Nearly two dozen gold miners in China have been trapped underground for more than a week following an accident in the mine shaft.
- It was unclear if any of the workers survived, but over the weekend, rescuers were heard “knocking sounds” and were able to retrieve a note from some of the survivors.
- The survivors asked for a list of supplies and cautioned that the area they had been trapped in was full of water.
- Rescuers are still determining what it will take to safely retrieve the workers, who are believed to be trapped around 2,000 feet from the mine’s entrance.
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Twenty-two gold miners in China have been trapped underground for more than eight days following an explosion last week, but rescuers on Sunday said they received indications some may still be alive.
The workers were trapped underground following an explosion on January 10 at a gold mine near Qixia city in eastern Shandong province. The force of the explosion obliterated the mine’s ladder and badly damaged its communication system. The miners are believed to be trapped around 2,000 feet down from the mine’s exit.
But over the weekend, rescuers searching for the crew told the Straits Times they banged on a drilling pipe and heard “knocking sounds” in response. Through a narrow shaft, the miners were able to pass along a note via a small hole made in the rock, the Business Times reported.
“We are in urgent need of cold medicine, painkillers, medical tape, external anti-inflammatory drugs, and three people have high blood pressure,” the note read.
One of the miners asked rescuers to retrieve and send down anti-hypertension drugs from his car.
The note mentioned that 12 of the workers were together and four had injuries. It is unclear what happened to the additional 10 miners believed to be involved in the blast.
Now that they have located some of miners, officials are planning to send down a telephone so that the trapped workers can contact their families.
According to The Guardian, the rescue efforts have been hampered in part because of a delay in reporting the accident. Two senior local officials have been fired in the wake of the incident, the outlet reported.
Mining accidents in China are not uncommon. In December, 23 workers died at the Diaoshuidong coal mine in the southwest city of Chongqing after a gas leak. And last August, 16 workers died from carbon monoxide poisoning following a fire at Songzao coal mine, also outside of Chongqing.
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