At least 12 miners who were trapped underground following an explosion a week ago at the Hushan gold mine in Xicheng Township, located in eastern Shandong province of China, are reportedly still alive.

A total of 22 workers were trapped in the gold mine following the explosion on 10 January, China’s Xinhua news agency reported citing local authorities.

The accident, however, was reported 30 hours later due to the damage to the communication signal system as a result of the blast.

The explosion also damaged the exit ladder from the Shandong Wucailong Investment-owned mine, according to sources.

The trapped miners sent a note to rescue team saying that 12 people were still alive, AFP reported.

According to Reuters, 11 of the 22 trapped miners at the gold mine are safe, one is injured, and ten are still missing.

The accident follows a tragic incident at the Songzao coal mine in south-west China in September 2020 that killed 16 of the 17 workers trapped in it. The incident was due to excessive levels of carbon monoxide.

The accident at the Songzao coal mine follows an accident in August 2020 at the Liangbaosi Coal Mine in Jiaxiang County in Shandong Province.

The accident in the eastern part of China was caused by a deflagration that led to the death of seven people and nine hospitalised.