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Monday 9 December 2019

Four Chinese miners rescued after 36 days

The mine collapsed on Christmas Day
The mine collapsed on Christmas Day

Rescuers have pulled out four miners who had spent 36 days trapped underground in a collapsed mine in China, according to state media.

The gypsum mine in east China's Shandong province collapsed on Christmas Day, killing one and leaving 17 missing, including the four survivors.

In the days that followed, rescuers detected the four miners 200 metres (660ft) below the surface.

Eleven other people in the mine made it to safety or were rescued earlier.

State broadcaster CCTV showed a miner being pulled out, surrounded by cheering rescuers in helmets and news crews.

Medical staff rushed another miner along hospital corridors on a stretcher with his eyes covered.

Rescuers brought out the workers through two access tunnels they had drilled, and the first miner was pulled out in a capsule, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The collapse on December 25 was so violent it registered as a seismic event registering magnitude 4.

Five days later, infrared cameras detected the four miners weak with hunger waving their hands.

The miners told rescuers they were in underground passages that were intact, and rescuers began slowly drilling a route to save them.

They sent food and clothes to the men through four small tunnels they drilled.

Two days after the collapse, the owner of the mine, Ma Congbo, jumped into a well and drowned in an apparent suicide. Four top officials in Pingyi county, where the mine is located, have been fired.

In 2010, 33 miners in Chile were rescued after being trapped for 69 days underground, including more than two weeks when no one knew whether they were alive.

China's mines have long been the world's deadliest, but safety improvements have reduced deaths in recent years.

PA Media

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