BEIJING – Chinese rescuers have found the bodies of nine workers in a mine explosion, raising the death toll to ten, officials said Monday.
Eleven others were rescued the day before after being trapped underground for two weeks in the gold mine in Shandong Province. One person was still missing.
The cause of the accident in the mine under construction is being investigated.
The January 10 explosion released 70 tons of debris, blocking a shaft, deactivating elevators, and holding workers underground.
Rescuers dug parallel shafts to send out food and nutrients and eventually raise the survivors on Sunday.
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The search for the remaining miner will continue until he is found, said Chen Fei, the mayor of Yantai City, where the mine is located.
“Until this worker is found, we will not give up,” he said at a press conference.
Chen and other officials involved in the rescue operations did not speak to the victims and bowed their heads.
“Our hearts are deeply saddened. We offer our deep condolences and condolences to the families of the victim, ”he said.
The authorities have arrested mine managers for delaying reporting the accident.
Such lengthy and expensive rescue efforts are relatively new in China’s mining industry, which used to kill an average of 5,000 people a year.
Increased oversight has improved safety, although demand for coal and precious metals continues to be cornerstones.
39 miners were killed after two accidents in the mountainous southwest of Chongqing last year.