Two Chinese miners, who were dramatically rescued after being trapped underground for two weeks, shared their joy and relief on Tuesday at being free.
Eleven men out of a group of 22 were pulled out alive by rescue workers on Sunday after a January 10 mine explosion in east China’s Shandong Province buried them hundreds of meters underground.
“I feel reborn,” one of the miners with the surname Du was quoted as saying by the state broadcaster CGTN Tuesday, who was talking to reporters from his hospital bed in pajamas.
“We didn’t have anything to eat for the first nine days,” he added. “There are no words to describe the feeling (of being saved). So relieved.”
You were part of a group of 11 miners who first managed to contact rescue workers on January 17th by sending a note even though a long shaft was drilled in the rock.
They were then given food, medicine and telephones to communicate with.
“We knew exactly how hard it was to drill this deep. We were trapped nearly 600 meters underground. It was a daunting task,” another survivor, surnamed Wang, told CGTN. “We are so happy.”
One of the first groups died last week from head injuries sustained in the explosion, while another nine workers found in a different part of the mine were confirmed dead on Monday, according to local officials.
Rescue teams are looking for another miner who is not reported.
The survivors are all currently in “stable” condition and are being treated in hospital, local officials said on Monday.
“We comforted each other with words of encouragement. That’s how we did it,” Du said from his hospital bed, adding that some of the group were “pessimistic, others hopeful”.
Rescue workers faced difficult conditions, including flooding parts of the mine to drill multiple holes to reach the trapped miners.
Another miner was found alive by rescuers trying to reach the group of ten on Sunday.
Both the Communist Party secretary and the mayor have been sacked for being 30 hours late, and an official investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the explosion.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)