NHC medical team arrives at Shandong goldmine to guide rescue
One trapped miner in coma due to head injury from blast
Published: Jan 19, 2021 08:01 PM

On the ninth day of the goldmine rescue in East China’s Shandong Province, one of the trapped miners reportedly is suffering from critical injury in the head, with 10 of the total 22 still remain lost in touch. A medical team with doctors and psychologists has arrived on site. No signs of mental trauma have been shown.

One of 11 trapped miners is critically injured from a previous blast and is in a coma, trapped miners said via phone at 6 pm on Tuesday. Eight of them are in good condition, and two have mild discomfort, according to an official update on Tuesday night. 

In order to ensure the utmost care for the miner in critical condition, medical experts have given other miners some medical knowledge. The team told the miners to strengthen care and assistance for him, and to provide timely feedback for further treatment.

Sent by the National Health Commission, the team of medical experts arrived on the rescue site on Tuesday. The group consists of five experts in critical care medicine, nutrition, neurosurgery, occupational disease and poisoning medicine, and psychological intervention from top hospitals in Beijing.

The experts have re-optimized the medical aid plans, understood in detail the physical condition of each miner and established individual health files to clarify the food and medicine to offer the miners individually to improve their physical condition. 

One miner trapped in another part of the mine is also injured, but the specifics are unclear. The other 10 trapped miners are still out of contact, the People's Daily reported. 

Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Nearly 10 days after the fatal accident took place, the rescuers on site are going all-out for the difficult rescue. Ten channels had been drilled into the goldmine as of Tuesday, including two for life maintenance and surveillance, two for rescue, two for water drainage, and one for auxiliary detection. The rescuers are working hard to drill more boreholes to reach the trapped miners, a Global Times reporter saw on site. 

As of 9:02 am Tuesday, supply goods including 55 bottles of nutrient solutions, 13 bottles of millet soup, carpets and slips to write on have been sent to the trapped miners. These supplies can help them survive for at least two days.

Moreover, psychological support is also provided to the miners. In order to boost their confidence, psychological experts were designated to the site to guide the miners to avoid pessimism, impatience, loss and other emotions.
Zhang Chun, director of the Nanjing Psychological Crisis Intervention Center, noted that when a mine accident occurs, most miners are in a state of shock, which is followed by anger, anxiety and other negative emotions, the Beijing News reported. 

However, judging from the notes sent back by the trapped miners, they are now able to communicate with the outside world and should not have suffered psychological trauma, Jiang Changqing, chief psychologist at Beijing Anding Hospital, told the local media.

The trapped miners are 200 meters below the obstacle in the shaft, the Global Times reporter learned. Construction workers are working round the clock to go down the shaft to cut the obstacle. 

The Global Times reporter also learned that some 388 machines and pieces of equipment have been deployed for the rescue work, including some of the country’s most advanced rescue equipment. There are 16 professional rescue teams and one fire rescue team on location. 

Twenty five ambulances and more than 80 ambulance personnel are also at the scene.

Meanwhile, difficulties exist in the life rescue channel at 350 meters from the wellhead. The rescuers have encountered serious blockage points, with intertwined and superimposed air supply and drainage pipelines, power supply and communication cables. The construction space in the shaft is very narrow, the cage section is small and it is extremely difficult to clear the obstacles. 

Photo: Cui Meng/GT

The Global Times reporter saw the rescuers divided into two groups for two shifts to ensure that the rescue work does not stop. Rescue workers are speeding up drilling operations while clearing obstacles at the site of the goldmine explosion despite complex geological conditions.

The blast happened on January 10, trapping 22 miners underground for more than 200 hours now. A total of 12 miners have been confirmed to be alive, while the other 10 have lost contact. 

Due to delays in reporting the incident, the legal person of the company has been detained and the officials responsible removed from their posts. Shandong provincial authorities have established an investigation team, and they vowed not to let go a single person responsible.

The National Mine Safety Administration under the Ministry of Emergency Management has ordered a nationwide inspection of all mines lasting until March. The checklist includes production and safety equipment, and the proper handling of goods, routes and supplies for emergency evacuation.