This story was first published on May 14, 2014
According to a story that has been travelling the highways and byways of the interwebs since mid-2014, a man in China has been rescued after surviving for 17 years trapped underground in a mine.
The story claims that the mine was abandoned back in 1997 after an earthquake caused tunnels to collapse. Thus, claims the story, a team exploring the old mine were greatly surprised when they discovered 59-year-old Cheung Wai, who had apparently survived on an emergency stash of rice and water and by supplementing his diet with rat meat.
Awed commentators have gushed on how the tale depicts the resilience of the human spirit and on the man’s amazing courage and determination to survive.
What a shame that the story is a work of fiction. The ‘inspiring’ incident described never took place, in China, or anywhere else.
The story comes via the satirical/entertainment website World News Daily Report. In fact, none of the stories published on the site are true. World News Daily Report includes the following disclaimer on the site:
World News Daily Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within worldnewsdailyreport.com are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction.
The image of the crying ‘miner’ used in the story was taken from a 2009 Chinese news report about a Japanese memorial service for wartime Chinese forced workers.
World News Daily Report has been responsible for several viral messages that have circulated in recent months. An earlier report from the site falsely claimed that a live dinosaur had hatched from an egg stored in a German museum. And another fake story claimed that scientists had discovered giant human skeletons while excavating a site in Iran.