Rescued Chinese miners were confident rescue would come

Miners rescued from a fatal goldmine explosion in Qixia, east China’s Shandong province, said while trapped underground that they always believed help would come, CCTV news reported on Jan. 26.

On Jan. 24, the rescuers brought the 11 miners to the surface. Currently all of them are receiving medical treatment in hospitals.

A trapped miner expresses his gratitude after being lifted from a gold mine in Qixia City, east China’s Shandong Province, on Jan. 24, 2021. (Xinhua/Chen Hao)

Recalling the first moments of the explosion, a miner surnamed Wang said the shock wave of the blast swept them far away and their safety helmets cracked. They had no food reserves and had to drink underground water in order to stay alive, even though it was not suitable for human consumption. “However, I always believed that I would not die and rescue would come to me,” Wang said.

Wang was the first to respond by knocking on a drill pipe that led up to the surface on Jan. 17.

“I knocked on the pipe five times to indicate that we were in the fifth section of the mine. We were trapped nearly 600 meters below ground, it was a daunting task to drill the hole,” the man said. “We are so happy that the government didn’t give up efforts.”

Wang, the last to ascend the shaft, put his hands together to thank the rescuers.

Another rescued miner surnamed Du said every day one of them would knock on the pipe. “We comforted each other with encouraging words.”

“When we heard the drills of the shaft nearing us, all of us stood up,” Du said, “I feel like I am reborn.”

Rescuers are still searching for one miner who remains unaccounted for.

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