Four miners have been finally rescued on Friday after being trapped in a collapsed gypsum mine in Pingyi county in east China’s Shandong Province for 36 days.
They have been identified as Zhao Zhicheng, 50, a tank pusher; Li Qiusheng, 39, a tank pusher; Guan Qingji, 58, a signal engineer; and Hua Mingxi, 36, a forklift driver.
The four miners will be sent to the Pingyi County People’s Hospital. So far, they reportedly suffer from minor skin injuries and enteron disorder, which are not life threatening.
Timeline: Shandong mine collapse and rescueDec. 25: A gypsum mine of Yurong Commerce and Trade Co collapsed in Baotai, Pingyi county of Linyi, Shandong province, trapping 29 workers. Ten are rescued. The China Earthquake Networks Center says the collapse was equal in force to a magnitude-4 earthquake.
Dec. 26: One miner whose leg was stuck under a boulder is rescued. Four others manage to escape. One confirmed dead. Team experts confirmed the remaining 18 miners are trapped at two different sites. But instability in the tunnels and falling rocks continued to hinder rescue efforts.
Dec. 27: rescuers drill a hole at one site to try to contact the workers and transfer food and provisions. More than 700 people were involved in the operation.
Dec. 27: Shandong issues a notice ordering all gypsum mines in Linyi to suspend operations and undergo safety checks.
Dec. 27: The owner of the Shandong mine commits suicide by jumping into a mine shaft that had partly filled with water as he was assisting in the rescue.
Dec. 30: signs of life were detected in the morning
Dec. 31: Four trapped miners confirmed to be in stable condition, with one suffering from diarrhoea. Provisions including a nutrient solution, clothes, and lamps are sent down.
Dec 31: One of the rescue wells collapses and floods, narrowing the living space for the four discovered miners.
Jan. 4: No additional survivors found after rescuers drill a hole 220 meters into the mine. Thirteen miners are still listed as missing.
Jan 8: Rescuers again contact trapped miners, and deliver food and materials.
Jan 9: Over a week after the drilling started, the drill gets stuck 170 meters underground.
Jan 23: The No. 5 hole drills through to the tunnel where the four miners are trapped.
Jan. 29: RESCUE
9:21 p.m. – 1st of four surviving miners lifted from tunnel.
9:50 p.m. – 2nd miner lifted out.
10:21 p.m. – 3rd miner lifted out.
10:49 p.m. – 4th miner lifted out.
“We have suffered great damages and learned heavy lessons,” Linyin City Mayor Zhang Shuping said at a press conference following the rescue, noting that an investigation was underway as to the cause of the mine’s collapse.
“All over the nation, 60 rescue, geological, and drilling experts were dispatched to conduct the rescue operation, including four experts from Germany,” he said. “They have been with us since the beginning.”
The four rescued miners are among the 29 people who were working underground when the mine collapsed on Dec. 25.
Of the 29 miners, 11 were rescued the following day and one was pronounced dead while 13 remained unaccounted for. The four being rescued today are among those 13 reported missing since the collapse.
The trapped workers were lifted to surface through the wide-hole No.5 rescue tunnel completed on Thursday. Rescuers also made a specially designed man-size rescue capsule for the trapped workers to be transported to the surface one by one. The capsule is about three meters high and half a meter in width.
Five days after the incident, on December 30, rescue officials had detected signs of life underground that led them to the four men. A day later, the men were confirmed to be in stable condition with one suffering from diarrhea.
The first of the four surviving miners trapped in collapsed gypsum mine in Shandong was been lifted up from the tunnel that was 200 meters deep. He has been transported to nearby hospital for further treatment.
The second surviving miner being lifted up.
The third surviving miner lifted.
The fourth surviving miner lifted up from tunnel.