One trapped worker is in a coma after sustaining severe head injuries in a gold mine blast in east China's Shandong Province, local authorities said Tuesday.
The physical conditions of eight trapped miners have improved after they received nutritious supplies, while two experienced mild discomfort, said the rescue and medical team after a phone conversation with them around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The fourth batch of the nutrient solution was delivered to the miners Tuesday morning, in addition to millet congee, thermometers and blankets. Counselors have been in place to boost the miners' confidence, said Song Xicheng, a member of the rescue and medical team at the site.
A new note retrieved from within the mine on Tuesday morning asked rescuers to "send another phone as backup."
The note was attached to the ropes used to deliver supplies to the trapped workers through the No.3 drilled channel, said Wei Qingyou, with the rescue team.
"Because the drilled channel is very narrow, we retrieve the phone wires each time we finish our conversation with the miners to prevent the wires from tangling with the ropes used to deliver the nutrient solutions," Wei said. The note was sent to the rescuers between two phone calls.
"Due to the water accumulating in the mine, there has been a problem of calls failing to connect because of water getting into the phone, which is why they want another phone as backup," Wei said.
The rescuers have decided to speak with the miners at fixed times each day to relieve their anxiety. They have also prepared six water-proof phones and left three of the phones in the mine to ensure smooth communication.
Twenty-two miners have been trapped underground following a mine blast at 2 p.m. on Jan. 10 in Qixia under the city of Yantai.
Eleven of the miners were found Sunday through a drilled channel. They had a phone conversation with rescuers on Monday after a wired telephone was installed underground through the channel.
The conversation revealed that 11 miners were stuck in one section of the gold mine and one person in another, while the whereabouts of the other ten workers are still unknown.