Trapped China miners send note to rescue teams

18 Janvier, 2021, 13:42 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Rescuers work at the site of last week's gold mine accident in eastern China's Shandong Province

Rescuers say that 12 miners trapped underground after an explosion in a Chinese gold mine a week ago are still alive.

They felt pulling on ropes they lowered into the mine and later sent food, medicine, paper and pencils into the hole.

The condition of the other 10 workers was unclear, Xinhua said. Four among the group are injured and in urgent need of medical attention, according to the note.

The miners said the situation underground is dire, with worrying water levels, poor ventilation, and lingering heavy smoke from the dynamite explosion that trapped them on January 10 and also knocked out the mine's communication systems.

"We hope the rescue will continue, and we will have hope." the Global Times, a state-run tabloid, reported the note saying.

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Rescuers work at the site of a gold mine in Qixia in eastern China's Shandong Province on Tuesday.

More than 300 people are involved in the rescue effort and excavators and machinery are on site, but the teams have warned it will be extremely hard to bring out the miners who were working more than 600 metres (1969 feet) from the tunnel's entrance.

The accident caused a national outcry earlier in the week because the site's operator had waited 30 hours to report the missing miners, delaying the government's rescue operation by more than a full day. The mine's managers have been detained while two senior local officials have also been sacked because of the blast, state media said.

More than 300 workers are seeking to clear obstructions while drilling a new shaft to reach the chambers where the workers were trapped and expel unsafe fumes.

In December, 23 miners died after being trapped in a mine in the southwestern city of Chongqing-just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning after being caught underground at another coal mine in the city.

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