Skip to main content

Chinese worker rescued after 3 days in sunken steel shaft

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Trapped construction worker saved
  • The shaft buckled under tidal pressure and sank
  • Food and water were supplied to the man through a tube

(CNN) -- A Chinese man was rescued Sunday after spending 80 hours in a steel shaft that sunk 18 meters (59 feet) underwater, China's official Xinhua news agency reported Monday.

The worker, a 43-year-old man identified as Fan Shengjia, became stuck Thursday while working in the shaft at Jiaxing Harbor on China's east coast, Xinhua said.

The shaft, which was about 1 meter in diameter and which the Xinhua report also described as a barrel, was part of an offshore operation platform and was connected to a cement column.

But the shaft buckled under tidal pressure, narrowing to only 3 cm (1 inch) at its narrowest point, Xinhua said. Fan was working at the bottom of the shaft at the time.

Rescuers spent more than 70 hours cleaning silt from the equipment and cutting the cement column off the seabed so the barrel could be lifted from the sea.

Food and water were sent to Fan through a pipe, and a psychiatrist was called in to assist him, the news agency said.

Fan was uninjured, but was taken to a Pinghu City hospital after his rescue.