Saving People in a Coal Mine Accident
(Minghui.org) Over ten years ago, on November 27, 2005, a large gas and coal dust explosion in Qitaihe Dongfeng Coal Mine in Heilongjiang Province killed 171 people.
While everyone else was trying to make it to a safe place on that fateful day, I stayed behind to rescue as many coworkers as I could. As a practitioner of Falun Dafa, I had become used to considering others first, just as Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of the spiritual discipline based on the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, teaches us to do.
I experienced extraordinary things amidst the chaos, and I know that Master protected me and the more than 20 co-workers that I tried to get out of harm’s way. When the TV crew interviewed me and hailed me as a hero, I credited Master and Falun Dafa for saving me and my coworkers.
My interview was broadcast on our local TV channel for three days in a row, a very rare thing given the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Dafa.
At 8:00 p.m. that day, soon after I entered the mine, I heard a loud noise and then a shock wave knocked me to the ground. I was aware that there had been a big accident.
With the explosion, the wind tunnel ventilator had stopped working. According to regulations, in case of a wind tunnel ventilator failure, all electrical switches for the tunnel should be set to zero to avoid a gas accident. Many of the men on my team were running away as fast as they could. By the time I managed to set the water pump and puffer switches to zero, they were out of sight.
Helping Coworkers in Danger
They were in such a panic that they ran in the wrong direction. I had to bring them back! So I ran as fast as I could to try to catch them.
As I approached a car lot, I encountered monitor and gas inspectors, who were running back. They covered their noses and warned me, “Go back! Stop going that way.”
I asked them if they had seen any of my team members. They tried to persuade me to just take care of myself, but I couldn’t leave those men who were trapped behind.
When I got to the car lot, I saw a miner who had passed out. I wet his clothes and then used them to cover his head. I told him stay there and not to move. Then I continued climbing upward against the heavy smoke. My head felt swollen and my eyes felt like they were protruding. At that moment I thought of Master's poem,
“When disciples have ample righteous thoughtsMaster has the power to turn back the tide”(“The Master-Disciple Bond,”Hong Yin II
I asked Master for help to strengthen and save me. As I was climbing up, I shouted, “Master, help! Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”
Finally I climbed to a large area where many coal cars were parked. It was so smoky there that I couldn’t see anything. I bumped into a miner and asked him why he was still there. He seemed to be out of it. I asked which direction he came from and if he had seen any men from my team. He tried to speak but couldn't form the words. I knew he was in trouble, and took him to a less smoky and safer area.
Master Gives Me Strength
At this point things were so bad that I felt like I couldn't go on. I sat down on the coal car tracks, trying to conjoin my hands and send forth righteous thoughts. But I couldn’t control my hands. A force was pushing my hands apart and making me sway back and forth. I felt like some evil beings were attempting to kill me. I immediately asked Master for help and repeatedly recited Master's Fa-rectification verses.
Just then, I felt a warm current coming down from my baihui point, the top of my head, slowly, to all over my body. All of a sudden I felt very comfortable. I knew that Master was strengthening me with guanding.
I clearly experienced that guanding three times. Master was saving me and eliminating the evil beings and bad substances. I couldn't hold back my tears. I shouted, “Thank you, Master! Your disciple appreciates your grace!”
I asked Master for blessings so that I could save people. At this point, a group of men suddenly poured out of a ventilation door. It was chaos, and they ran in all directions. The gas inspector on my team was among them. As soon as he saw me, he said, “All 27 men here are now in your hands, and we are all counting on you.” He then found a place to sit down.
I responded with great confidence, “No problem. You are in good hands!”
Dangerous Journey to Locate an Unconscious Miner
About ten minutes later, the ventilation door opened again, and two men emerged. One was supporting the other and said, “There is one more man up there, unconscious. What should we do?”
No one said a word. The man was near the return air tunnel, where it was very steep. No one was willing to risk his life to go up there. It was very smoky, and two miners had already passed out. The heavy dust made it difficult to breathe or see. A person could fall and be killed in an instant.
I said, “Count how many people are here and figure out who is still up there. Let's go bring him down.”
There were a total of four gas inspectors, including me, at the site. The other three sat there motionless and said their gas detectors had stopped working.
I didn't hesitate and said, “My detector is working. I will go up. Who’s coming with me?”
No one responded. I asked again. Still no reply.
I said, “I do not know who is up there, but I am willing to try to save him. You all work in the same team. You are friends and relatives. We are all brothers underground and facing adversity together. How can we not save him?”
Three men finally agreed to follow me. I carried the testing equipment and pushed them to climb up while I sent forth righteous thoughts. I told them, “Keep within ten meters of me.”
With an 80-meter rise, the return air tunnel was steep and slippery. The smoke sapped our strength, and we inched along with great difficulty. Finally we located the unconscious man.
The four of us, two ahead and two behind, carried him down, step by step. At the junction of the return air tunnel and return rise, we came across a place that was almost 2 meters deep and very steep. It was very precarious. Fortunately, there was a water pipeline leading to the return air tunnel. I asked two workers to go down first so that they could take over the unconscious man. I stepped on the pipe and shifted the man down slowly while reminding them to keep calm. Finally we got down to a safe place.
Next we had to continue on down for another 1.5 meters. Again I asked two of the men to go down first, so that the other fellow and I could hand the man down to them. When we were almost there, the miner who came down last was so exhausted that he almost fell. I grabbed him and held him up. He said his head felt swollen. I asked him to stay closer to me and supported him through the ventilation door.
Finally we were out. I continued to work on the unconscious man. As soon as he came to, one of the men who had gone with me fainted. I worked hard to revive him. They were all trembling from the cold. I warmed them in turns with my clothes until they were all right.
A Total of 25 Lives Safe, but 2 Perished
Two hours passed. During that time, I kept measuring the toxic substances using the detector and moving the men who had passed out from time to time. We used a wrench to unscrew the pressured air pipe, but still no air came in.
If that didn’t change, once the thin air in the mine was gone, everyone trapped inside would suffocate.
At that point, some of the miners yelled for help, some kowtowed, some shouted and cried, and some cursed the Communist Party for having so little regard for the lives of workers. They were in a panic and lost control.
I said to them, “Now there is no other way out but one: Let's ask the Master of Falun Dafa for help. Shout 'Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!’”
They shouted with me, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”
I felt a very strong energy field spreading around us. I also felt powerful energy at the top of my head. I knew Master was giving us strength. I felt light all over. I saw light in front of me and became stronger. I was filled with great confidence. At that moment I was certain that we would be rescued.
Unfortunately, two of the men didn't believe that the nine words could save them. They cursed Dafa and Master. Indeed, they didn't come out of the mine alive.
By almost four in the morning, I thought it was urgent to deliver an SOS message because the air inside was so thin that we might soon suffocate. A co-worker volunteered to follow me.
We passed a junction with many parked coal cars, where we saw a dozen men lying there dead. It was smoky and smelled bad. We climbed up and saw a driver holding the steering wheel, but his head was not there anymore. The air pipes and copper trolley wire had collapsed.
We continued until we arrived at an entry roadway, but it was blocked by rock. We pushed the rock aside so that some air could come in. The more air there was, the better hope of survival for the miners underground.
We tried our best to push aside the rock. Our hands were torn and bleeding. Rotten wood collapsed and hit my shoulders and legs, but I had no time to feel the pain. It was very difficult to make even a small opening, but soon it was blocked again by the rock that kept collapsing. We worked hard to push away tons of rock until more air came in.
We continued walking and saw a man coming from another area of the mine. He was lost, and we took him with us. At this point we were all exhausted. I had some fried dough with me and shared it with those that were with me.
Three of us shared one headlamp to save electricity. We turned back after another 50 meters. There was no air, and it was highly dangerous.
We changed direction and eventually found an alternate exit. We went inside and saw that the belt conveyors were all gone, and it smelled bad. Only one garage was connected to the electric power substation above ground. I went inside and saw approximately 60 people, all dead. We found the door and went out. Finally we saw people on the ground.
Reporters with cameras came to interview me. I told them, “There are 25 people in the No.4 mining area. I already opened the passageway. Go save them!”
Showing Gratitude to Master during Interview
I later told them about the rescue. I said, “No one could have survived what I did without the protection of my Master. Even if I had 10 lives, I would have died without my Master's protection. Keep in mind 'Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!' Please report that.”
They promised me that they would.
The news spread throughout the city. Many people knew that I had rescued more than 20 people. They regarded me as a hero. Local government officials held a press conference and invited reporters from the city TV station and radio station to interview me. I described again the whole process.
One reporter asked me, “Why didn't you just escape yourself? Why were you so confident that you could save them?”
I told him the truth, “I am a Falun Dafa practitioner. It's Dafa's Master who saved us. Master taught me to consider others first in any circumstance. That's where my confidence came from.”
My interview was broadcast on our local TV station for three days in a row.
Feeling the Need to Tell People about Falun Dafa
Although over ten years have passed, tears still come to my eyes whenever I recall seeing those dead co-workers in the mine.
One time, I dreamed of the two co-workers who refused to shout with us the nine words that could have saved their lives. In my dream, I held them, but they pushed me away.
Awake from the dream, I cried, “Why didn't you shout with us 'Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!' Everyone else survived but you. Why didn't you believe it? Do you know how bitterly your wife and children cried for you?
“I know you were too deceived by the CCP’s lies.”
I feel happy for those who survived. It was their good thoughts about Falun Dafa that saved them.
As time goes by, I realize more clearly the significance of telling people the facts about Falun Dafa and the urgency of saving people.