After 22 Chinese workers were trapped 8 days ago under an exploded mine, 12 of them remain alive as they seek help through a handwritten note. The blast occurred on January 10 in a shaft around 240 metres underground, trapping 22 people who were working at a depth of around 600 meters, in Qixia, Shandong province of eastern China. The blast damaged their communication systems, cutting off all contact.
After days without any signs of life, rescuers heard knocking sounds on Sunday afternoon as they drilled through the mine's shaft. Hope was restored when these miners sent up an urgent note saying that four were injured and that the others were in dire shape, according to reports.
While the note sent by the survivors stated that 12 of the workers are still alive, conditions of the other 10 are still unknown. The workers wrote that they remained hopeful, according to the Xinhua news agency report, but that they were in need of medical supplies.
The survivors, when they made contact, also said that four of them were injured and that they were exhausted. In their note, they wrote, “We are in urgent need of stomach medicine, painkillers, medical tape, external anti-inflammatory drugs. Three people have high blood pressure so we need antihypertensive drugs. I have two types of them in my car. Please send them down.”
Such mining accidents are a frequent occurrence in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and proper safety measures are not regulated.
In September last year, 16 workers died from carbon monoxide poisoning in a coal mine in southwestern city of Chongqing, China, after they were trapped by an underground fire.
In December, 23 miners died after being trapped in a mine in the same city.
In 2019, Chinese coal mines saw 170 fatal accidents leading to 316 deaths, according to the state-run ‘People’s Daily’.