The Chinese rescue team said that it may take more than two weeks to rescue a group of miners trapped hundreds of meters underground.
They have been trapped since the explosion on January 10 closed the entrance tunnel to the Hushan gold mine in Shandong Province.
One week after the explosion, the authorities contacted 11 surviving miners, but one has died since.
Rescuers drilled some small holes to supply these people with food and medicine.
The cause of the explosion at the entrance of the closed mine cannot be determined.
The fate of the other 11 miners trapped in the explosion is unclear-although food and information were placed in other areas of the mine, the authorities were unable to communicate with them.
The organization found a person alive and told rescuers that they had established contact with a single miner about 100m below them, but had since lost contact with him.
How will the rescue work be carried out?
Currently, rescue operations are trying to widen the narrow shaft to make it large enough to lift the miners out.
However, it turns out that drilling is very difficult because it needs to go through particularly hard granite, and the miners are trapped far away from the ground. Another problem faced by rescuers is that the mine is submerged, and the room where the miners are trapped may be flooded.
Gong Haitao, deputy head of the local propaganda department, said: “The obstacles are too great, which means that it will take us at least 15 days or more to reach the miners.”
He added that the debris blocking the road weighed about 70 tons.
How are they trapped?
The unexplained explosion so far severely damaged the mine’s entrance and cut off communications.
For a week, there were no signs of life. Then, last Sunday, rescuers felt that a rope they were descending was pulled into a small shaft leading to darkness.
Then, from the 12 surviving miners, the paper money was sent onto the rope with a paper rope-11 were stuck in one place, and the 12th was stuck below.
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Since then, contact with the twelfth miner has disappeared, and one of the 11 people fell into a coma after head injury in the explosion and was certified dead on Thursday.
In China, mining accidents are not uncommon. In China, the enforcement of industrial safety regulations is weak. In December last year, a carbon monoxide leak occurred in a coal mine, killing 23 miners.
In September, another mine on the outskirts of Chongqing also killed 16 workers due to carbon monoxide. In December 2019, an explosion occurred in a coal mine in Guizhou Province, southwestern China, killing at least 14 people.
How about the miners?
Ten known survivors were trapped in darkness about 600m (2,000ft) underground. They contact the rescue team regularly.
A communication line has been established to allow food and medicine to be dropped through a narrow shaft.
While they had been drinking porridge and nutrient solution, a few days ago, the miners asked for a traditional sausage.
Eight of them are considered to be in good health, while the other two are in poor health.
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