It will take at least another 15 days to go through the huge amount of debris and reach the miners whofor 11 days of an explosion at a gold mine in eastern China, authorities said Thursday.
The mine shaft is blocked 1,000 feet below the surface of 70 tons of debris, which extends down another 330 feet, the Yantai city government said in a statement on its social media profile.
“Based on expert assessments, the extent of the blockage … is far from expectations,” the statement said.
A worker died from head injuries in the blast, state media reported earlier Thursday. Of the remaining 21
The dead worker was in a coma and two others were in poor health. Lifeguards, medicines and other consumables for the group of 11, as they work to remove debris and improve ventilation.
State media reported that the exhaustion occurred among some of the workers after the explosion on January 10, torn through a mine being built in Qixia, a jurisdiction under Yantai in Shandong Province.
Rescuers tried to clear the cages and other debris blocking the main shaft as they drilled other shafts for communication, ventilation and possibly to raise workers to the surface. The drill has reached a depth of about 2,000 feet, reports said.
Mine managers were detained for more than 24 hours before reporting the accident, the cause of which was not reported.
Increased surveillance has improved safety in China’s mining industry, which uses an average of 5,000 deaths a year. Yet the demand for coal and precious metals continues to cause a sharp turn, and two crashes in Chongqing last year killed 39 miners.