A worker trapped in a Chinese gold mine has died as rescuers scrambled to save 21 others who have been stuck underground for nearly two weeks, CCTV, a state media reported on Thursday.
It was reported that a January 10 explosion trapped a total of 22 workers hundreds of meters underground at the Hushan mine near Qixia city in east China’s Shandong province. The explosion sealed the entrance and cut off communications.
State media, however, reported on Wednesday that one of them had suffered a head injury in the initial explosion and fell into a coma before dying. 10 miners are alive. Eight are in a stable condition out of them while two other workers were described as being in poor health.
It is believed that another is trapped on his own, 100 meters (330 feet) further down in rising waters, but his condition is unknown, and rescue teams have not reached him.
The condition of another 10 workers remains unknown. “They have also been lowering life detectors and nutrient solutions to other sections to locate the other missing miners but continue to receive no life signs,” state news agency Xinhua reported.
Rescuers made contact on Sunday with the first group of miners at a site around 580 meters (1,900 feet) below the surface. They were attempting to clear cages, skips and other debris blocking the main shaft while drilling other shafts for communication, ventilation and possibly to lift workers to the surface.
Emergency responders have drilled two “lifeline” channels to deliver materials to the miners and installed a telephone line while widening a shaft to allow the miners to be extracted eventually.
The local government said on its official social media feed on Thursday that rescuers hope that the drilling channels will allow the survivors to be brought to the surface.