At least 12 Chinese gold miners trapped 2,000 feet underground for a week due to an explosion have sent up a hand-written note, saying that they were still alive, according to Chinese state media.
The message, penned by one of the workers last night, informed the rescuers of their exact position and asked for urgent medical help, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
A total of 22 workers became stuck more than 600 metres (1,970 feet) from the mine’s entrance following the blast in the mine in eastern China‘s Shandong Province on January 10.
The condition of the other 10 workers remained unknown, the note read.
Scroll down for video
A news clip released by China’s state broadcaster CCTV shows rescuers searching for survivors above a gold mine in Qixia on Sunday following a blast in the mine on January 10
CCTV shows the note written by one of the miners to inform the ground crew that 12 of the 22 trapped workers were alive. The condition of the other 10 remained unknown, the note read
After days without any signs of life, rescuers heard knocking sounds on Sunday afternoon as they drilled through the mine’s shaft near the city of Qixia.
CCTV reported that rescuers sent oxygen and basic supplies, including pencils and paper, down the mine at around 10pm.
Half an hour later, they noticed that someone was pulling a steel line they had sent down from under the ground.
An hour afterwards, rescuers retrieved a note from the depths, saying that at least a dozen of the miners were still alive.
The surviving workers pleaded for help, adding that some workers’ health was deteriorating and the conditions of the mine were worsening.
‘We are in urgent need of medicine, painkillers, medical tape, external anti-inflammatory drugs, and three people have high blood pressure,’ the note read.
Hundreds of rescuers have worked day and night to search for survivors since the gold mine near Qixia in China’s Shandong Province exploded on January 10, leaving 22 workers trapped
After days without any signs of life, rescuers heard knocking sounds on Sunday afternoon as they drilled through the mine’s shaft. Rescuers are pictured drilling a new channel on Monday
The gold mine is situated in the Hu Mountain near Qixia in eastern China’s Shandong Province
Four people were injured, according to the note which was crumpled, water-stained and scrawled in pencil on pages ripped out of a notebook.
‘We wish the rescuers won’t stop so that we can still have hope. Thank you,’ the note read.
The writer of the note asked rescuers to send down some medication from his car and warned that there was a large amount of underground water where the miners are trapped.
Footage from CCTV showed rescue workers cheering as the knocking sound was detected and later hurrying to read the note which was taped to a line sunk below via a pneumatic drill.
Footage showed rescuers sending a wire taped with food and drinks down a small opening to the miners.
Hopes of a miracle rescue after a days-long ordeal triggered an outpouring of sympathy. The hashtag ‘Qixia gold mine incident’ was viewed 130million times on social media site Weibo
Rescuers intend to drill multiple tunnels into the mine, to vent air as well as deliver supplies while work continues on bringing the miners back up to safety, state broadcaster CCTV said
Hopes of a miracle rescue after a days-long ordeal triggered an outpouring of sympathy and encouragement on Chinese social media.
The hashtag ‘Qixia gold mine incident’ was viewed 130million times on popular social media site Weibo.
‘I saw the note while I was watching the morning news and burst into tears,’ one Weibo user wrote.
‘I hope they will rescue the trapped workers as soon as possible.’
Some rescue workers wore fur hats to keep off the cold while others appeared covered in dust and grime from the rescue operation.
Rescuers intend to drill multiple tunnels into the mine, to vent air as well as deliver supplies while work continues on bringing the miners back up to safety, CCTV said.
The explosion badly damaged the communications system and exit ladder from the mine owned by the Shandong Wucailong Investment Co. Ltd.
Two top officials of Qixia, the mayor and Communist Party Secretary, have been sacked over the accident.
Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.
In December, 23 miners died after being trapped in a mine in the south-western city of Chongqing — just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning after being trapped underground at another coal mine in the city.