BEIJING – Authorities confirmed on Monday the death of 10 of the 22 people who became trapped two weeks ago after an explosion in a gold mine under construction in China, while one remains missing, according to press reports.
Officials rescued on Sunday 11 of the 22 miners who were trapped Jan. 10 after an explosion in a mining complex under construction in the eastern province of Shandong.
Rescue teams said on Friday it could take more than two weeks to extract the miners, the time it would take to drill a shaft through which to extract survivors.
However, an obstacle blocking the site gave way Sunday, according to the Global Times newspaper, facilitating the rescue.
The rescue was made more challenging as the mine’s managers failed to inform authorities until 30 hours after the incident, leading to the arrest of several people, the dismissal of the two highest political leaders in the area and the opening of an official investigation.
Chinese mining operations, especially coal – the country’s main energy source – have poor safety records, although fatal accidents have dropped significantly in recent years.