At least 12 of the 22 Chinese miners trapped after the explosion are still alive

At least 12 of the 22 Chinese miners trapped after the explosion are still alive

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Rescue team workers try to rescue miners trapped in a Chinese mine after an explosion occurs. EFE / He Yuan / File

Shanghai (China), Jan 18 2021 – At least 12 of the 22 workers who were trapped more than a week ago after an explosion at a mine in eastern China are still alive, the official press reported today.

On the night of this Sunday, the rescuers lowered a rope with supplies and felt how they were pulling it to catch them, after which a group of the trapped workers sent back a note detailing their location.
For now, the status of the other 10 people who remained underground on the 10th in this gold mine under construction in Shandong province is unknown.

The rescue teams, which now number more than 400 personnel, have managed to carry out a drilling to the surface of the tunnel where the workers are, and in the next few hours they hope to be able to send food, water and a telephone to contact them.
Likewise, an extraction of toxic gases was carried out, although experts affirm that the platform where the miners were located was far enough away from the explosion so that the air is not toxic and presents the necessary conditions for survival.
The explosion occurred about 240 meters from the entrance, although the 22 people trapped were working at that time about 600 meters from the point in question.

However, rescue efforts are “extremely difficult”, in part because mine managers did not report the accident until 30 hours after it occurred.
In this regard, several arrests have been carried out so far and the general secretary of the Communist Party (CCP) and the mayor of the town of Qixia, where the complex is located, have been dismissed.

According to the state newspaper Global Times, the laws of the Asian country stipulate that the person in charge of an industrial unit in which an accident occurs must inform the local authorities within a maximum period of one hour.
Chinese mining operations, especially coal -main source of energy in the country-, register a high accident rate, although in recent years the number of fatal accidents has dropped significantly.


Ben Oakley
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