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2021-01-25 10:27:51

Nine miners who remained trapped in a gold mine in eastern China two weeks after an explosion were confirmed dead Monday, bringing the accident’s death toll to 10, according to state broadcaster China Central Television.

The news comes just a day after 11 miners were rescued from the accident site outside the county-level city of Qixia, according to CCTV. Ten of them were said to have been in constant contact with the rescuers, while another worker was “unexpectedly found” in a separate section underground.

Rescue work is still ongoing to find the last unaccounted-for miner, another report said.

All nine of the miners found dead Monday are believed to have died from a second explosion that occurred nearly two hours after the first one on Jan. 10, while they were trying to climb to a safer location, The Beijing News reported.

The first suspected death of a miner was reported Wednesday. He was among the group that had been in contact with rescue officials but died of a head injury he sustained in the explosion.

The gold mine explosion left 22 workers stranded hundreds of meters underground with no means of communicating to the outside world. Shandong Wucailong Investment, the company that owns the mine, has been under intense scrutiny since it waited 30 hours to report the accident, delaying the eventual rescue response.

Editor: David Paulk.

(Header image: A miner is rescued after being trapped underground for two weeks following an explosion near Qixia, Shandong province, Jan. 24, 2021. Xinhua)