Chinese rescuers pulled 11 gold miners to safety on Sunday after they were trapped underground for 14 days.
State broadcaster CCTV reported that most of the rescued miners were in a good condition but 10 were still unaccounted for.
Reuters reported that the first miner was brought to the surface on Sunday morning and a black blindfold was shielding his eyes from daylight.
The miner was extremely weak, CCTV reported. Rescue workers wrapped the barely responsive man in a blanket and took him to hospital by ambulance.
According to Reuters, over the next few hours, 10 miners from a different section of the mine, who had been getting food and medical supplies down a shaft from rescue workers last week, were brought out in batches.
“We made a breakthrough this morning,” chief engineer at the rescue centre, Xiao Wenru, told the Xinhua news agency.
“After clearing these broken, powdery pieces, we found that there were cavities underneath … our progress accelerated.”
Officials had said on Thursday it could take another two weeks to drill a rescue shaft through blockages to reach the group of 10.
Reuters reported that China’s mines are among the world’s deadliest. It recorded 573 mine-related deaths in 2020, according to the National Mine Safety Administration.
The January 10 explosion in the Hushan mine in Qixia, a major gold-producing region under the administration of Yantai in coastal Shandong province, trapped 22 workers about 600 metres (2,000 feet) underground.
More than 600 rescuers have been on the site working to reach the men.