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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 November 2007, 23:35 GMT
Gold miners rescued in Australia
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Rescue workers have freed 27 workers trapped when a gold mine shaft collapsed in southern Australia.

The miners were trapped for several hours before being lifted out through a ventilation shaft. Mine officials said none were injured.

The collapse occurred at the Ballarat goldmine in central Victoria, forcing the miners into safety chambers.

Victoria police said the trapped men had 30 hours of oxygen left, prompting a rapid rescue operation.

The shaft of the goldmine at Mount Clear, near Ballarat, collapsed in the middle of the night forcing the miners into what are called refuge chambers.

Some of the trapped men were 150m (492 ft) from the surface, with others thought to be just over half a mile down.

One of them used his mobile phone to communicate with the mine operator and police.

Rescuers used a crane to lift the men to safety, via an air shaft which was unaffected by the collapse.

The rescued miners smiled, waved and gave thumbs up signs as they were driven away.

"They're all in good spirits, all safe and happy," Joe Dowling of Ballarat Gold told the AFP news agency.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The miners are carried out to safety



SEE ALSO
Trapped Australian miners freed
24 Oct 07 |  Asia-Pacific



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