Relative of a Chinese coal mine accident victim (Reuters file)
Relative of a Chinese coal mine accident victim (Reuters file)

The online media was on fire on 8 May, after a report claimed that a man has been found alive in the Western province of Xinjiang in China, after being buried in a coal mine for almost 17 years.

The report claimed that a group of coal miners from Xinjiang stumbled upon Cheung Wai, a 59-year-old survivor from the 1997 coal mines accident, who had gotten trapped in a section, along with the dead bodies of 78 of his colleagues.

"The poor man had remained trapped underground with the bodies of 78 of his dead coworkers, after an earthquake of a magnitude of 7,8 hit the region and caused the wooden support structure of the mine to crumble and collapse. Somehow lucky in his misfortune, Mr. Cheung was saved by the fact that some ventilation duct still connected his underground prison to the surface, allowing him access to air that was sufficiently pure to keep him alive," the story that was first published in World News Daily Report claimed.

It further stated that the Chinese miner, trapped in the coal mines, managed to survive for almost 17 years on a stash of rice and water, stored in an underground depot, besides eating rats and phosphorescent moss.

There were some doubts that this incredible and heartening news, in all probability, is false.

While thousands of readers bought the story and circulated it, what they forgot to see is the disclaimer section of World News Daily Report that states: "All news articles contained within are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental..."