China: Miner Found Alive After 17 Years Underground

Ürümqui | A group of coal miners from the western province of Xinjiang had an unbelievable surprise when the gallery they were excavating opened up on a section of an old mine that was abandoned 17 years ago after an earthquake that caused some large sections of the tunnels to collapse.

While they were exploring the galleries, they stumbled upon Cheung Wai, a 59-year-old survivor from the 2001 accident, obviously in a rather bad shape.

Wai was immediately taken to the hospital where a complete evaluation of his physical and mental states will be done over the next weeks.

The poor man had remained trapped underground with the bodies of 78 of his dead coworkers after an earthquake of a magnitude of 7,8 hit the region and caused the wooden support structure of the mine to crumble and collapse.

Somehow lucky in his misfortune, Mr. Cheung was saved by the fact that a ventilation duct still connected his underground prison to the surface, allowing him access to air that was sufficiently pure to keep him alive.

Wai managed to survive thanks to an emergency stash of rice and water, stored in an underground depot, conceived especially for this kind of case.

The man complemented his diet by catching and eating the countless rats that pullulate in the mine, as well as collecting large quantities of some sort of phosphorescent moss, which constituted his only source of vitamins. 

Even though Wai was suffering from great physical and mental stress, he managed to give proper burials to all of his comrades, spending almost a year in this great selfless act.

Mining accidents remain common in China, despite growing measures by the government to reduce the problem, which killed more than 4000 miners a year at the beginning of the millennium.

Over the last years, the authorities have been cracking down on many unregulated mining operations which account for almost 80 percent of the country’s 16,000 mines.

The closure of about 1,000 dangerous small mines last year helped to cut in half the average number of miners killed, to about six a day, in the first months of this year, according to government statistics.

The case of Mr. Cheung remains unique, however, and constitutes a world record, according to the universally recognized authority on record-breaking achievement, Guinness.

The former record for surviving underground was of 142 days and was held by a British man named Geoff Smith. He had been voluntarily buried in the backyard of the Railway Inn, his favorite pub, with the intention of breaking the record.

78 Comments on "China: Miner Found Alive After 17 Years Underground"

  1. And not for nothing an article link in the banner said russian scientists have found a “cure” for homosexuality…im not gay but thats pretty offensive my god…this is world news daily mind you…

    • I’m pretty sure, you could have made a shovel out of dead bodies bones, and dug your way out in 1 year.

    • Sotly Dervards | May 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm |

      Danny, you have played entirely too many videogames.

    • If you are not gay, why are you offended? You do realize that you have to relate to something for it to be offensive to you. Gay people are getting tired of people like you who like to stick their nose in things that don’t concern them.

    • Tim, are “they”? If you are not gay (as the word “them” seems to indicate), who are you to speak for what WE are tired of or not. I am a white male but I am constantly offended by racism against non-white people and by misogeny. I am not sick of straight people finding homophobia offensive. I would sooner get tired of your attitude.

    • Oops. I misread and missed how you used “them”. The rest of what I said still stands.

    • havekippawilltravel | May 11, 2014 at 10:48 pm |

      Tim, as one of the gay people you’re deciding to speak on behalf of, I personally have no objection at all to any sensible intelligent person being offended by homophobia………..or racism, or sexism/misogeny. What I do most definitely have an objection to is anyone presuming to speak on my behalf and without my express permission.
      By all means speak for yourself, but leave me to say what I am and am not getting tired of!
      Ben, you have my thanks and my express permission to speak sensibly on my behalf!!!!

    • Yea “cure for AIDS” would have been more appropriate. Being a Biological dead end has nothing to do with needing a cure. It just is what it is.

    • hahahhaha | May 13, 2014 at 9:45 pm |

      ^^^^^^^^^^^. Biological Dead-end. hahahhaahah

  2. Marcus Alexander | May 9, 2014 at 12:31 am | Reply

    Whats the source for you to say source? Boring boring boring mind you saying “source” like a parrot saves you ever having to think for yourself , so you canlive by rote

    • Really? Questioning a rather sensational article and wanting proof IS thinking for yourself… I agree I want a source too… Although i have to say that 17 yrs ago landed this in the 90s, and I do beleive they had the technology to properly stash some emergency food, and we dont know for how long he ate the rice before eating rats…for all we know the first 3 weeks he ate the rice before eating delicious rats

    • Questioning is thinking for yourself. Taking something as fact without a source would be the equivalent of a mindless parrot; you just sound like a defensive moron.

    • concerned223 | May 9, 2014 at 9:48 am |

      Speaking of parrots look who decided to peck away at the keys, I believe that is your cue Marcus to quit the internet and spare us of what ever flows through your finger next.

    • I see. If you saw it on the internet, that makes it so and anyone requesting a source is “boring”? Witness the dumbing down of society – now we can say we saw it here in action……

    • What’s your source on people asking for sources being parrot-like?

    • Marcus, this is easily the dumbest thing I have ever read on the internet (not counting youtube comments).

      It is not a boring mind that wants more data – more *reliable* data – when fantastic claims are made.

      That is a curious mind. That is a mind with integrity. That is a mind that wants to learn the truth, and not just take the easy road of credulity.

    • You want the source… Here it is …

  3. I agree, I need to see a source. I don’t believe its possible to survive in a collapsed mine for 17 years. From my research the rice he would have to eat would have to bee vacuum sealed and kept at 40 degrees F for it to last that long. I’m skeptical.

    • I’m all for a source, but there’s a difference between rice being palatable and rice being edible. I’m sure 17 year old rice isn’t great for you, but if that’s all you have it may be enough to keep you going

    • As the article states, rice wasn’t all he ate.

    • Adam, you do know the difference between China and Chile right?

    • Good to know that mines in China stash enough non-perishables to last 17 years in random shafts, just in case?!?!

    • I’m very doubtful it is true, just don’t happen that was. There is more to the story than we are being told.

    • This article isn’t true…
      In fact none of the articles on this site are true… It’s a satire news site similar to ‘The Onion’.

      If you look along the latest news headlines for half a minute you’ll see headlines in the vein of “NSA used furbies to spy on homes” and “Scientists cure homosexuality’?

    • @Hardie, when you’re the only one alive to use the emergency stash of food, that is intended for a group of survivors, then yes there could be enough food to sustain you that long. Plus with your mobility limited to the space you can move around in, you don’t need to consume 2,000 calories to stay alive if your metabolism has slowed down. And lastly, many people still refuse to believe that Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids and the Statues of Easter Island were all created and moved by human hands JUST because we are so reliant on machine power that we can’t comprehend human beings possessing that kind of strength and will power. The human body is AMAZING when it is tested and JUST because YOU can comprehend it, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

    • Chile, china, what’s the difference…

    • Perry Elizabeth | May 15, 2014 at 4:05 am |

      It wasnt cooked rice… it was dry, and they have storage areas for supplies just like that. Dry rice and beans can keep for years.

  4. Source?

  5. nii ahene-La | May 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Reply

    Extraordinary and heart-warming news…like coming from the dead.

    • No Doubt!!!!

    • I sure hope the poor man had some family to come back to as well.

    • Yeah that guy is hence forth known as the manliest man to ever live. I dub thee sir Beast of total bad ass.

    • netbound59 | May 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm |

      That’s REAL survival and puts to shame a TV Show ! People on television should feel pretty stupis !

    • magdalene | May 15, 2014 at 4:23 am |

      how is the man now? God loves him very much.. i pray that God Himself will come to him and comfort his heart and just love him..uncle, Jesus loves u …and keep u. Jesus, saves him, Amen!

    • did he still have his time card ?

    • nICK Palica | May 16, 2014 at 8:09 am |

      Wow….I cant even imagine what this man has went through…Words can never describe it..WOW…

    • This is bull dont belive it his teeth would be Rotten and why the hell would they be years of supply of food when they just work down the mines ??????????????

    • amber johnson | May 16, 2014 at 5:53 pm |

      cuz if th mine were to collapse which it did but it wasn’t yrs but it prob was enough to help for a lil bit

    • kather hulbert | May 16, 2014 at 10:06 pm |

      That man lived hell on earth I am so happy he is ok.

    • fady nagy | May 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm |

      how they will explain the smart phone to him ?!

    • thats whats wrong with this country people believe this hahaha

    • I hope he soon realizes that the mining company owes him 17 years of back pay.

    • Wow, poor guy… seriously so sad. This unfortunately as bad as it was shows us to really appreciate life and the moment right now that we have. Anything can happen and it can all suddenly be gone. Appreciate every moment, always love others, never give doubt as to loving and caring for another human being, no matter who, or what their situation is or are! We really must love and care for the other being, whether human, animal, bug, or tree! This is life, we need to realize how precious, fragile, sacred, and sincere life is, and how we should just please take care of each other and laugh, respect others, dont hesitate, or take a moment to think why or why not to like the other being or not, just love the other and always care for life and beyond! Namaste and one love everybody! One love! Always and forever cherish life and all approximations of it and beyond! Namaste and one love all! <3 Always love the other!

    • Agree with Joanna! Also why is his beard not longer

    • What is God trying to prove here? I just don’t get it!

    • chris dismukes | May 19, 2014 at 12:26 am |

      And I thought I was having a bad few years.

    • Darlene Foster | May 19, 2014 at 1:49 am |

      Just think Jesus fed a multitude of 5000 people men and women and children, with two loafs of bread and a fish.

      Miracles happed all of the time.

    • Kenneth Stevens | May 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm |

      God was on his side. What type of lighting did he have?


    • It’s rubbish, do you know how much rice (or any other supplies) it would take to sustain a man for 17 years? He’d be suffering rickets from vitamin d-deficiency due to lack of sunlight. His lungs would have ceased working years ago due to coal dust inhalation and damp related conditions (anyone who knows a coalminer will tell you they cough as much as they breathe.) Add to that the presence of methane (which would smother him – or blow him to pieces if he has a flame or metal cleats in his boots.). There’s the effects of disease from the rats & decaying corpses.

    • read the disclaimer on this website!! ALL stories are fictional (not real)

    • This story is just fiction people. Read the disclaimer at the top of the page. The site is for satire. Just for fun. Gotta read the fine print!

    • Pamela Schemke | May 21, 2014 at 10:04 pm |

      Carl, I don’t think the Union will get him 17 years of back pay. So bittrsweet.

    • At least he’s going to get a big pay check with all that overtime. Probably 40 yen after taxes.

    • Sucker! How could you possibly buy into this. Please, reassess anything you have ever thought reality.

    • stuy wilson | May 22, 2014 at 11:59 am |

      Absolute legond..end of….stu

    • Magdalene – I don’t think god, nor Jesus love this man. They wouldn’t bury him with 78 of his friends, none which made it, to show love.

      This just shows that the will to survive is extraordinary, and that we’re quite capable of fantastic feats when we must.

    • Deeman853 | May 22, 2014 at 10:42 pm |

      Now that’s a REAL man in my book! God must really love this man. I AM IMPRESSED!!!

    • I don’t always get buried underground; but when I do, it’s for 17 years.

    • Alexandros Megalos | May 23, 2014 at 7:15 am |

      Please give the man what ever he wants do not let him suffer any more. it is the right thing to do. let him live his life, I hope that he will be okay!!!!!!!!……..

    • McLovin_LoveMyHaterz | May 27, 2014 at 5:12 pm |

      Did he still have his time card…?

    • George Greece | May 27, 2014 at 6:49 pm |

      God love all the people.
      Jesus Christ let this man to suffer 17 years,
      because in this manner we can see how much God is helping people to live,
      if we want to live.

      This man survived with the help of God.
      God whith this way will give many many many love and life in Earth and to Heaven.

      God did not leave away from this man..
      God gave him power to live.

    • How are you people so ignorant to real news? Google his name. Sad that you just believe what you read. Morons.

    • Bull…..

    • This is BS,who cut his hair and gave him a shave while he was down there?

    • Yeah-Right | June 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm |

      To the people claiming “goddidit”: So he/she murdered all those miners and made this poor guy suffer for 17 years for the fun of it because he/she loves Cheung Wai, and now you praise him? If that is your god then I’d hate to see his/her demon/devil counterpart. Get real.

      This is a tragic survivor story, and that is that.

    • One thing is for sure.
      He will most likely never have to work again as this is 17 years overtime, 17 bonuses, 17 salary increases and then the company compensation. I wonder for how much will he sells his story????

    • As soon as he sees the current state of the world, he’ll probably go right
      back down.

    • Wow, how much will his back pay be?

    • Abraham Reid | September 5, 2014 at 1:40 am |

      We salute this man, for having the will to LIVE and NEVER give up! May he never lack anything he needs! To GOD, be the glory for moving others to find him.

    • Allah had kept him alive without his choice nothing can be changed hope his living becomes better in future

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