BEIJING: Rescue workers in eastern China on Sunday pulled 11 miners from hundreds of meters underground where they had been stranded for two weeks, state media said, adding that the search for the remaining 10 people had intensified.
The state broadcaster CCTV reported that the miners were brought to the surface around 11 a.m. Sunday.
A miner was in “extremely weak physical condition” and was taken to hospital, CCTV reported. The state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the operation’s command center as saying that 11 miners were rescued after cleaning the air ventilator shaft.
Ten more are unaccounted for. Expert teams have been battling difficult conditions since the January 10 blast at the Hoshan mine in Shandong Province.
Rescue expert Du Bunjian said the blast occurred in the ventilator shaft, damaging the cable car. This Sunday morning, huge obstacles suddenly came under the shaft, allowing the operation to take a big step forward. “When the obstacles came to the bottom of the shaft, the rescue team started bringing in miners and suspended drilling,” Dow told Global Times. “It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.”
Official broadcast footage on Sunday showed a small lift with rescue workers lifted to the surface. A masked man, unable to stand, was executed.
Later footage showed emergency workers picking up other miners, who wore black shadows to protect their eyes from the light. A man was holding her hands as if praying. The contact came a week ago with a group of 11 miners trapped in a section of the mine about 580 meters (1,900 feet) below the surface.
One of them was seriously injured in the initial blast and died after falling into a coma. Rescue workers found another miner alive as they tried to reach the group. Rescue teams are reducing food, medicine and other supplies to the group through several lifeline shafts thrown into the rock.