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Last Updated: Friday, 18 November 2005, 08:12 GMT
China miner saved after 11 days
Miners wait for the latest news after gypsum mine collapses in Xingtai, Hebei - 7/11/05
The mine's collapse toppled many of its buildings
A Chinese miner has been rescued from underground 11 days after the shaft he was working in collapsed.

Yuan Shenglin, 36, was pulled from a gypsum mine in Hebei province and rushed to hospital.

A local official said Yuan survived because he had some water with him when he was trapped.

The mine was one of three that caved in on 6 November, toppling many of their buildings. Thirty-three miners were killed, while four are still missing.

Rescuers searching for survivors first heard Mr Yuan's voice on Wednesday. They inserted a plastic tube 5 metres through collapsed rubble and pumped in food and water to the other side, according to the official China Daily.

Rare good news

The rescuers did not dare to dig a tunnel for fear of another collapse and took a day to build a channel from an adjacent mine, the paper reported.

"Please send a message to my family that I'm still alive," Mr Yuan said, after he had been rescued.

His survival was a rare success story for China's notoriously dangerous mines. More than 3,000 miners are reported to have been killed this year alone - in fires, floods and other work-related accidents - and analysts fear the actual annual casualty figure could be much higher.

The government has recently begun a drive to improve safety standards in China's mines, many of which are unlicensed.

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