Rescuers Start Hauling Up Trapped Miners

All 3,200 expected to come up safely after accident in South Africa
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2007 11:21 PM CDT
Miners work underground at the Harmony Goldmine, near Carletonville, South Africa, in this Wednesday Oct. 27, 2004 file photo. Some 3,000 miners were trapped underground when a water pipe burst and probably...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Rescuers have begun evacuating 3,200 gold miners trapped more than a mile underground in a South African gold mine. By early today, 450 had been pulled to safety, Reuters said. No injuries have been reported. Union leaders accused the mine owner of negligence and said the accident was caused in part by a breakneck work schedule that left little time for safety checks.

 "I feel happy to be on the surface," said one of the first rescued miners. "It was hot and dusty and I am quite hungry now." The miners became trapped when a broken pipe cut power cables to a main lift. They were trapped 15 hours before the rescue began. "I'm confident all will come out," said a mine official.