2,000 Miners Rescued in South Africa
Workers emerge hungry but unharmed after 36 hours underground
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2007 6:34 AM CDT
Mine workers come out of the cage at Harmony Gold's Elandsrand Mine south west of Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007. About 3,000 gold miners were trapped a mile underground Wednesday...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – About two-thirds of the 3,200 miners trapped yesterday when a lift shaft collapsed in a South African gold mine had been rescued by midmorning today, the BBC reports. They're being brought to the surface 75 at a time in a small shaft normally used for equipment; the remainder are expected to be out by late afternoon. Miners who emerged hungry and relieved said the mood underground was calm, despite punishing heat. 

No injuries have yet been reported.  “We were not too worried because we had our lights. We were singing, speaking to each other to pass the time,” one miner told the Times. The rescued men and women were handed sandwiches, greeted by families, and sent for medical exams. No injuries have yet been reported. The union charges that the lifts were not properly maintained.