China miners: 12 trapped but still alive, note passed out of exploded gold mine reveals

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At least 12 workers trapped in a gold mine in China’s Shandong province are believed to be alive after a handwritten note was passed through a rescue shaft.

It has been a week since the blast on 10 January in a mine in Qixia in Shandong province in eastern China resulted in the 22 miners getting stuck at a depth of about 600 metres underground.

To rescue them, over 300 workers are trying to drill a new shaft to reach the chambers where the workers are located.

According to the note, four workers are injured while the condition of the others was deteriorating due to lack of water and fresh air, Chinese state media Xinhua news agency reported.

“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,” the note said, written in pencil.

The trapped miners also told those involved in the rescue effort that there is thick smoke and underground water in the section they are trapped.

Managers of the mine have already been detained as they had note reported the incident for more than a day. Last week, a few days after the incident, a communist party leader and local mayor were sacked and an investigation was launched.

Mining incidents in China are common. In December 2020, 23 workers had died due to carbon monoxide gas in a coal mine in China while in September, in another coal incident, at least 16 workers had died due to exposure to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

In December and November 2019, in two separate incidents in different coal mines, 14 and 15 workers were killed respectively.

Additional reporting by agencies

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