Cheung Wai, a 59-year old man, who miraculously survived underground for 17 long years has been discovered by a group of coal miners from the western province of Xinjiang.

According to the reports, a group of coal miners were excavating a gallery when they opened up on an old mine section which was abandoned 17 years ago in 1997 after an earthquake of 7.8 magnitude, earthquake that hit the region caused wooden support structure of the mine crumble and collapse some large section of the tunnels. While observing the tunnel, they confronted an unbelievable surprise when they found out a man who was trapped underground living and surviving for 17 years in the ruins. His name was Cheung Wai, a 59-year old survivor from the 1997 accident, obviously in a rather bad shape. He was then immediately taken to the hospital where a complete evaluation of his physical and mental states will be done over the next weeks.

His Miraculous Survival:

On further investigation they came to know that Wai was saved by the fact that a kind of ventilation duct somewhat connected his underground prison to the surface, allowing him to hold that air which was sufficiently pure to keep him alive for this much period sadly the other 78 of his coworkers have long died. He tightly hold the thread of his life by eating the emergency stash of rice and water stored underground for such incidents, feeding on the rats in the mine, collecting large stacks of some sort of phosphorescent moss and that constituted his only source of vitamins intake.

Workers drain away polluted water near the Zijin copper mine in Shanghang on July 13, 2010, after pollution from the mine contaminated the Ting River, a major waterway in southeast China's Fujian Province. Water pollution is a severe environmental problem in China and contributes to high cancer rates. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

As far as the statistics are concerned, about 4000 miners have died in a year in mining accidents at the beginning of the millennium. According to government stats, the shutting down of about 1,000 dangerous small mines last year has reduced the numbers of miners killed in a day to six in the first months of this year.
Though Mr. Wai was suffering from a great physical and mental stress, he somehow managed to bury all of his comrades, spending almost a year in this great selfless act.