The rescue operation may take another 15 days to free the Chinese miners trapped underground for about 2 weeks

They were trapped at least 600 meters (2,000 ft) down after the January 10 explosion in Kixia City, Shandong Province. Eleven miners were confirmed alive on Sunday after rescuers were able to drill a channel in the mine and set up a telephone line, according to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua.
State media said that a miner died of a head injury in the blast. Ten people are trapped in a chamber of gold mine 600 meters (2,000 ft) from the entrance and are in contact with rescue teams. One miner is believed to have been trapped in another section, while the fate and whereabouts of 10 others are unknown.

Efforts to reach the workers have continued since the explosion, about 240 meters (800 ft) from the mine entrance. According to rescuers cited by Xinhua, batches of food items, medical supplies, blankets, and nutrient solutions have been passed through a shaft to 10 workers who have shown “gradual improvement” in their physical condition.

According to state media, rescue teams are hoping to take out the miners from the 711 millimeter (28 in) diameter route. By Thursday afternoon, rescue teams drilled into mines of up to 18 meters, but heavy debris could attempt at a slower pace.

Gong Hetao, deputy head of Yantai’s publicity department, told a press conference on Thursday that the mines are blocked 350 to 446 meters (1,100 to 1,400 feet) below the surface by 70 tons of debris.

“Although the efficiency (of rescue work) has improved since the 20th, it will take at least 15 days to clean the rescue channel in the main shaft due to the voluntary size of the barriers,” Gong said.

The miners are already stranded underground for 12 days.

Gong said rescuers are making a variety of efforts to remove obstacles, including using high-powered machinery and deploying more rescuers.

On 20 January 2021, rescue teams drill through the rubble to reach 22 stranded gold mines.

There is growing concern for undocumented miners. Xinhua reported that some staff at the Chamber are using laser pointers and loudspeakers to help the rescuers locate their missing comrades, but have received no response.

Rescuers have also dumped smaller channels into other parts of the mine and are reducing nutrient solutions and making other means to detect breathing or motion, but no signs of life have been revealed.

Rescuers were heard for the first time on 17 January, after which the trapped ropes were heard. On Monday the miners were able to get a note to save. Xinhua quoted the note as saying: “We are heavily and in urgent need of stomach medication, painkillers, medical tapes, external anti-inflammatory drugs, and three people with high blood pressure.”

Chinese state media said it may take 15 days to reach 600 meters underground trapped miners.
Explosions and deaths in Chinese mines are not uncommon. In September, at least 16 workers died in southwestern China when they went underground in a coal mine and were exposed to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide, state media reported.
And in 2016, dozens of workers were killed after a gas explosion at a coal mine in Chongqing city.


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