Monday, December 13, 2010

Chinese Miners

Have you ever dug yourself out of a hole only to trip back in on accident?

Literally or proverbially speaking.

A few years ago a couple of Chinese coal miners, brothers, were trapped in a collapsed mine near Beijing. It was an illegal coal mine and they were stuck for 6 days. You may not have remembered this headline, likely because it was only a couple guys, and probably because this is a more common event in China. I found the story on an online UK newspaper.

China averages 13 deaths a day due to floods, fires, or explosions in coal mines. This leaves China's coal mines the worlds deadliest.  Did you know that? I didn't. Much of this is due to mine owners who disregard safety rules. And a high demand for the stuff.

A quick google search of this will yield a slew of stories involving trapped Chinese miners over the years. The story of the two brothers isn't even listed until page 6.

As I read the article, back in 2007, I remember being in awe by the headline, which stated that they had to eat coal and drink their own urine before their miraculous escape. I clicked for the full story prepared to be wowed.

I was, for a totally different reason.

Here's what I read:
Officials said that rescue work was halted after experts determined there was no chance that the brothers, from the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, had survived. 
The men were optimistic until the sound of the digging outside stopped.  
Then they "totally had a breakdown. I told my brother, your wife is going to have to marry someone else," said Meng.  
"I had been thinking about buying an apartment in town for my wife and (now) it is going to be someone else's," (his brother) added.  
" wife could find a rich man in Shenyang. But then I thought, I have two children and my wife is ugly, so it'd be hard for her to remarry," Meng joked. 

Thankfully, the two men survived with the only injury being that their kidney's suffered due to dehydration. I'm curious if they survived the follow up conversation with their wives after this was published world wide.

Oh, how I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that conversation, just to see how he'd dig his way out of that one.

That conversation and the one with the experts in charge of the rescue efforts. In times like these, 'my bad', won't cut it.

One thing they did note was that their mining days were over.

"Now we just want to go home safely and put this behind us," they said.

On a serious note, I'm wowed by the fact that 13 Chinese miners die, on average, per day! This time around, it's this one that's sticking with me! I wonder what can be done about this? As for tonight, I will say a prayer for miners all around the world... and turn off all my lights.


Teri said...

This is totally funny. Well, not the 13 daily deaths part, just the conversation about wives. And the diverse topic. Can you use this as a conversation starter at a Christmas party this season? I'd love to hear how it goes. You are a really good storyteller.

Post a Comment

Blogger Template by Delicious Design Studio