China mine blast: 12 trapped workers out of 22 alive
Chinese state media reported that 12 out of 22 workers trapped for a week by an explosion in a gold mine are alive, as hundreds of rescuers seek to bring them to safety. The Xinhua News Agency said on Monday that a note passed through a rescue shaft on Sunday night stated their condition. The fate of the remaining 10 is still unknown.
'Keep on with the rescue,' the miners wrote
The handwritten note said four of the workers were injured and that the condition of others was deteriorating because of a lack of fresh air and an influx of water. "Keep on with the rescue efforts. We have hope, thank you," the note further read. Earlier, operation managers were detained after failing to report the accident for more than a day.
More than 300 workers trying to reach the chambers
The mine in Qixia, under the jurisdiction of the city of Yantai in Shandong province, had been under construction at the time of the blast, which occurred on January 10. More than 300 workers are seeking to clear obstructions while drilling a new shaft to reach the chambers where the workers were trapped.
Two accidents in Chongqing killed 39 miners last year
China's mining industry has a reputation for skirting safety requirements amid massive demand for coal and precious minerals, although increased supervision has reduced the frequency of accidents that used to claim an average of 5,000 miners per year. Two accidents in the southwestern megacity of Chongqing last year killed 39 miners, prompting the Central Government to order another safety overhaul.