Eleven gold miners out of the 22 stuck underground after an explosion, have finally been rescued. It is still not fully known how many are yet to be rescued. Two full weeks after being trapped underground, at least 11 were found alive and lifted to the surface.
The first rescued miner was brought up to the level ground at 11:13 a.m on Sunday, according to officials in Yantai, a city near which this mine is located. Personnel and rescue operators applauded as the man was lifted to the surface, according to a video broadcasted by Xinhua, the state-run local news agency. The miner, wearing a blindfold around his eyes, and a long green coat was lifted into an ambulance and immediately taken to a hospital.
The Yantai city government described the condition of the man as “extremely weak”, on their official social media account.
All afternoon, rescuers continued their efforts to bring the trapped miners to the surface in groups of two or three. The eye coverings on all the rescued men were for protection against exposure to the sunlight after being trapped for a prolonged period underground. While some had to be physically carried out, others seemed to be in better health and were able to walk with a little assistance.
The aforementioned explosion occurred in a gold mine in Shandong province in China, after which the entrance tunnel to the mine collapsed. A total of 22 miners were trapped in the blast, the cause of which is yet unknown. At least one has been reported dead so far, and it is still not fully known if there are remaining workers alive underground.
China's mines are among the world's deadliest. The country recorded 573 mine-related deaths in 2020, according to the National Mine Safety Administration.
Rescue operations to find the remaining men, in any, continue. There were more than 600 rescue workers working at the site to bring out these men.