Miners Rescued After 36 Days Underground In China [Video]

Some miners were rescued after 36 days underground in China. They were originally trapped 700 feet underground due to a collapsed mine in the east China’s Shandong Province, reports USA Today.

It’s incredible that these four were rescued after 36 days, but there’s apparently more miners down there,and one already died when the collapse happened. To get to the Chinese miners, rescuers drilled two access tunnels down into the earth.

Seventeen miners were down there; after these four were rescued, only thirteen remain. A video highlighting the moments after the first miner came to the surface can be seen below.

The first miner was obviously dazed during the rescue. After 36 days underground, it’s easy to see why he and the rest of the Chinese miners might be a little out of it.

One of the miners thanked the rescue team, saying “I feel relieved and secure now. We will remember you (rescue team) forever.”

The collapse of the mine in December was so violent it registered at a magnitude 4 on the Richter scale. Five days later, they found the miners with infrared cameras. They were weak and waving their hands around for help. Luckily the underground passages were in tact, and the miners were able to communicate that to the surface. Rescuers began slowly drilling a route to save them shortly after.

Peter Walker at The Guardian reports that the reason these Chinese miners were rescued after 36 days and not sooner was because of geological conditions making the operation unsafe.

Apparently not everybody involved in the collapse held out hope. Peter Walker writes, “Two days after the mine collapsed, its owner, named as Ma Congbo, died after jumping into a well, having apparently killed himself. Four officials in Pingyi county, where the mine is located, were fired.”

China’s mining industry is notoriously perilous, even by the standards of the country’s record of industrial deaths during its recent period of breakneck economic growth.

In fact, just four months ago a massive explosion happened at a warehouse in Tianjin housing dangerous chemicals.

“It was like the catastrophic scene in Hollywood movies,” one of the witnesses said.

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Chen Bingzhi, who lived close to the explosion site, said, “It felt like a earthquake. The whole building was shaking. I live on the fifth floor and all the windows are broken.”Experts say at least 50 people were killed in the violent explosion.

“China is the world’s largest producer of coal. Authorities say colliery accidents killed 931 people last year, a figure some rights groups claim is likely to be considerably lower than the real toll,” Peter Walker wrote..

These Chinese miners were rescued after 36 days underground. Their rescue is something to celebrate, but nobody knows about the other 13 miners that are trapped as well. The owner of the mine committrf suicide, and four officials in charge of the mine have already been fired since the collapse.

It’s the mark of an unstable and dangerous industry in China. In a place where accidents happen so often, it’s nice to know these brave men got rescued.

[Photo by Chinafotopress/Getty Images]