Trapped miners rescued after 36 days in China

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 200m below the surface. Eleven other people in the mine made it to safety or were rescued earlier.

Trapped 215m underground and dependent on food lowered to them by the rescue workers who were plotting to get them out, yesterday the four remaining miners known to have survived were finally pulled to the surface.

Rescuers lowered a cable to the miners at the collapsed gypsum mine in eastern China’s Pingyi County and, after the miners attached themselves to a harness, used it to pull them out one by one.

The rescues played out live on ChinaCentral Television.

As one of the miners put his feet back on the surface, workers in orange coats surrounded him as reporters and photographers moved in just behind them to record the spectacle.

The miner was brought straight to hospital by ambulance.

Information on the miners’ conditions wasn’t immediately known.

Rescuers had been preparing to use a man-size capsule to extract the four, similar to a method used in 2010 to rescue 33 miners trapped in a Chilean mine for more than two months.

However, the capsule was not used yesterday, with the miners instead securing themselves to a harness that was lowered to them.


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