Eleven trapped miners rescued in China after 14 days underground

BEIJING: Chinese rescuers pulled 11 gold miners to safety on Sunday with most of them in good condition after 14 days trapped underground after an explosion, but 10 colleagues were still unaccounted for, state media reported.

Television footage showed the first miner as he was brought to the surface in the morning, a black blindfold shielding his eyes from daylight as he was lifted out of a shaft.

The miner was extremely weak, state broadcaster CCTV reported on its Weibo site. Rescue workers wrapped the barely responsive man in a blanket and took him to hospital by ambulance.

Over the next few hours, 10 miners from a different section of the mine, who had been getting food and medical supplies down a shaft from rescue workers last week, were brought out in batches.

“We made a breakthrough this morning,” chief engineer at the rescue centre, Xiao Wenru, told the Xinhua news agency.

“After clearing these broken, powdery pieces, we found that there were cavities underneath ... our progress accelerated.”

Officials had said on Thursday it could take another two weeks to drill a rescue shaft through blockages to reach the group of 10.

One of the men brought to the surface was injured but several were shown walking, supported by rescue workers and wearing black cloth over their eyes, before being taken away by ambulance.

They were in good physical condition and had been getting normal food since Saturday, after several days of living off nutrient solutions, the Xinhua news agency said. - Reuters