Rescuers battle difficult conditions to help the trapped gold mine workers since an underground explosion sealed them underground amid rising waters.

Members of a rescue team working at the site of a gold mine explosion where 22 miners are trapped underground in Qixia, in eastern China's Shandong province, on January 20, 2021.
Members of a rescue team working at the site of a gold mine explosion where 22 miners are trapped underground in Qixia, in eastern China's Shandong province, on January 20, 2021. (AFP)

Chinese rescuers have pulled 11 gold miners to safety, 14 days after they were trapped by an underground explosion, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Footage showed the first miner to be rescued, a black blindfold across his eyes, being lifted out of a mine shaft in the morning.

The man, discovered on Sunday in a separate section of the mine to the 10 workers who had already established contact with rescuers, was in "extremely weak physical condition", CCTV said.

Rescuers have been battling difficult conditions to help the workers since an underground explosion at the Hushan mine in Shandong province sealed them underground amid rising waters on January 10.

READ MORE: Chinese miners may remain trapped for more than two weeks

Contact was first established a week ago with a group of 11 miners trapped in a section of the mine around 580 metres (1,900 feet) below the surface.

One of them was seriously injured in the initial explosion and has been confirmed dead after suffering head injuries and falling into a coma.

Rescue teams have been lowering food, medicine and other supplies through several "lifeline" shafts drilled into the rock. Life detectors and nutrient solutions have been lowered to other parts of the mine to find the other missing miners.

The rescued miner was found in a section closer to the surface than the section where the first group are located, CCTV reported.

State media footage on Sunday showed several tall drills boring down.

A twelfth miner is believed to be trapped on his own, 100 metres further down in rising waters.

For the other nine miners, hopes are dwindling as they have not been heard from since the explosion.

Rescue workers said on Friday it could take at least another two weeks to free the miners, citing a massive blockage that has delayed drilling efforts, according to state media.

Rescuers are trying to widen one of the shafts to eventually allow the workers to be brought up to the surface.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.

In December, 23 workers died after becoming stuck underground in the southwestern city of Chongqing.

READ MORE: Workers trapped in China gold mine send note up to rescuers

Source: AFP