China begins to recover miners captured for 14 days after underground explosion

Chinese rescue workers pulled seven gold miners to safety on Sunday 14 days after they were caught by an underground explosion, state broadcaster CCTV reported, with at least four others still believed to be living in the mine.

Film showed that the first miner to be rescued, a black blindfold over his eyes, was lifted out of a mine in the morning.

The miner was extremely weak, CCTV said on its Weibo website. Rescue workers wrapped the barely responsive man in a blanket before taking him to hospital by ambulance.

Later, three more miners were taken out of another part of the mine, including one who was injured. Another three from the same episode followed in the early afternoon.

Twenty-two workers were captured in the Hushan mine during the January 10 explosion in Qixia, a large gold-producing region led by Yantai in Shandong Province.

One miner has died and 11 have not been in contact with rescue teams, according to a Xinhua report from last week.

Officials said on Thursday that it could take another two weeks to clear “serious blockages” before they could drill shoulders to reach a group of ten men who had received food supplies from the rescue team.

However, state media said earlier that rescuers hoped to reach the 10 men in the mine’s fifth section on Sunday.