One of the dozen workers known to be alive following a Jan. 10 blast in a Chinese gold mine has died, state media reported Thursday. Rescuers have been in contact with 11 workers trapped in one chamber and have delivered food, medicine, and other supplies to them. State media said one of them had suffered a head injury in the initial explosion and lapsed into a coma before dying. Two other workers in that group were described as in poor health. Another was reportedly alive in a nearby chamber, but the fate of another 10 workers remains unknown. "They have also been lowering life detectors and nutrient solutions to other sections to locate the other missing miners but continue to receive no life signs," Deutsche Welle quotes state news agency Xinhua as reporting.
The reports said exhaustion has set in among some of the workers since the Jan. 10 explosion ripped through the mine that was under construction in Qixia, a jurisdiction under Yantai in the eastern province of Shandong. Rescuers are attempting to clear cages, skips, and other debris blocking the main shaft while drilling other shafts for communication, ventilation, and possibly to lift workers to the surface, reports the AP. Boring has reached depths of around 2,000 feet, the reports said. Mine managers have been detained for waiting more than 24 hours before reporting the accident, the cause of which has not been announced. (Here's what the miners previously requested be sent down from the surface.)