Rescue for 22 trapped workers continues in east China

2021-01-13 15:35:17 GMT2021-01-13 23:35:17(Beijing Time) Xinhua English
Rescuers are seen at the explosion site of a gold mine in Qixia City, east China's Shandong Province, Jan. 13, 2021. More than 300 rescuers have joined the search for 22 workers who were trapped underground after an explosion ripped through a gold mine under construction in east China's Shandong Province, local authorities said Tuesday. (Xinhua)  Rescuers are seen at the explosion site of a gold mine in Qixia City, east China's Shandong Province, Jan. 13, 2021. More than 300 rescuers have joined the search for 22 workers who were trapped underground after an explosion ripped through a gold mine under construction in east China's Shandong Province, local authorities said Tuesday. (Xinhua)

JINAN, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Rescuers have drilled 420 meters to approach 22 workers trapped underground after an explosion ripped through a gold mine under construction in east China's Shandong Province, local authorities said on Wednesday.

Li Bo, vice mayor of Yantai City, said at a press briefing that rescuers are cleaning up debris and obstacles. They are also trying to improve the ventilation in the mine shaft. As of 5 p.m., the air and temperature in the mine became normal.

The accident took place at 2 p.m. on Sunday at a gold mine in Qixia, administrated by Yantai City. The local government did not receive an accident report from the mining company until Monday evening.

Li said that according to regulations, mining firms are obliged to report accidents within one hour after they occur. Delayed reporting is "illegal and intolerable."

The gold mine is owned by Shandong Wucailong Investment Co. Ltd., a local company in Qixia.

Li said those responsible for the incident have been identified and will be investigated and severely punished per the law and regulations.

The rescue is continuing with large machinery such as drilling machines at the site. Through a drilled channel, rescuers had to enter the mine through a lift cage, filled with toxic gas after the explosion.

The blast is believed to have happened about 240 meters away from the entrance. The 22 workers were working more than 600 meters away from there. Enditem

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