FILE PHOTO: Rescue teams work on saving workers trapped underground after an explosion at the gold mine under construction in Qixia
File - Rescue teams work on saving workers trapped underground after an explosion at the gold mine under construction in Qixia, China, Jan 19, 2021.

Officials in China Tuesday say rescuers are racing to save miners who have been trapped underground for nine days. Food and medical supplies taped to wire cable were lowered down to them.
 
Chinese state media reported that 22 workers were trapped at the Hushan gold mine near Yantai in eastern Shandong province after an explosion damaged the entrance on January 10.
 
Reports say rescuers have been in contact with the workers through a telephone connection. They confirmed that 12 of the miners are alive, though some are injured and water in the shaft is rising. In a note passed to the surface, the miners told rescuers, “Don’t stop trying to reach us.”
 
 China’s Xinhua news service says 11 of the miners are in one location while the 12th is separated from the others.
 
It is unclear if the other 10 men are still alive.  
 
The Chinese media reports say rescuers have dug narrow shafts through which they have sent food, medicine, paper and pencils down to the miners. Meanwhile, hundreds of workers are attempting to dig rescue shafts to reach them.
 
Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed rescuers attempting to clear the main return shaft, while cranes and a massive bore-hole drill was used to dig new rescue channels to reach the trapped miners.
 
Chinese media reports rescue teams lost precious time as it took more than a day for the accident to be reported.