İrem UZUN -TDO- Twelve workers trapped underground after an explosion at a gold mine in eastern China a week ago are still alive, according to a note retrieved from the site, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing local authorities.
The blast happened on January 10 in a shaft around 240 metres underground, trapping 22 people who were working at a depth of more than 600 metres. The accident was not reported to the local authorities until 30 hours later, causing a serious delay in rescue efforts, according the municipal government.
Rescuers on Sunday afternoon drilled down into the mine and heard "knocking sounds", Xinhua news agency said, although they still needed confirmation. Local officials plan to lower food and telephone lines into the mine, which was under construction when the accident happened. Two officials have been sacked over the explosion.
According to the note rescuers retrieved back from the shaft, 12 people are alive in the middle section of the mine, while the status of the other 10 is not clear. The 12 miners reportedly also asked for more medicine, including pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as medical tape for the injured. They also said there were high levels of underground water.