4 Miners Rescued in China After 36 Days Underground, Xinhua Says

Four miners were rescued from a collapsed mine in eastern China on Friday after 36 days trapped underground, the state-owned Xinhua news agency reported.

The gypsum mine in Shandong Province collapsed on Christmas Day when 29 miners were working below ground, Xinhua said. About one thousand people have been involved in rescue efforts, complicated by falling rocks, unstable geological structures, water outbursts and carbon monoxide leaks, according to the report.

The rescue team drilled several tunnels after the accident to locate four of the trapped workers, and have been using those to supply food and clothes, it said. The rescue was made after a 220-meter (722-foot) shaft was drilled through the limestone, sandstone and gypsum, Xinhua reported.

One miner died in the accident, while 11 were saved immediately after the incident, according to the report. Thirteen people are still missing, Xinhua said. 

The owner of the mine committed suicide by jumping into a flooded shaft in the early days of the rescue, Xinhua said. The county’s Communist Party chief, government head and two deputy heads were fired after the incident, according to the report.

Several executives of the mine are under police investigation, Xinhua said.

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