Rescuers in east China yesterday pulled 11 miners from hundreds of metres underground where they had been trapped for two weeks, state media reported, as the race to locate the remaining 10 intensified.
The miners were brought to the surface starting from around 11 am yesterday, state broadcaster CCTV reported -- a major breakthrough for a rescue operation that has captivated the nation.
One miner was in "extremely weak physical condition" and rushed to hospital, CCTV said.
The 11 miners were rescued after the air ventilator shaft was cleared, Xinhua reported, citing the operation's command centre.
Specialist teams have been battling difficult conditions since an explosion at the Hushan mine in Shandong province trapped the miners underground amid rising waters on January 10. The explosion occurred in a ventilator shaft, causing a blockage that damaged the cable car.