Twelve out of 22 workers trapped for a week by an explosion in a gold mine are alive, Chinese state media said, as hundreds of rescuers seek to bring them to safety.
The Xinhua News Agency said on Monday a note passed through a rescue shaft on Sunday night reported the fate of the other 10 remains unknown.
The handwritten note said four of the workers were injured and that the condition of others was deteriorating because of a lack of fresh air and an influx of water.
The mine in Qixia, a jurisdiction under the city of Yantai in Shandong province, had been under construction at the time of the blast, which occurred on January 10.
More than 300 workers are seeking to clear obstructions while drilling a new shaft to reach the chambers where the workers were trapped and expel dangerous fumes.
“Keep on with the rescue efforts. We have hope, thank you,” read the note, written in pencil on notebook paper and posted on Xinhua’s official website.
Two accidents in the south-western megacity of Chongqing last year killed 39 miners, prompting the central government to order another safety overhaul.