Friday, October 05, 2007

South Africa rescues miners

from LA times

CARLETONVILLE, South Africa -- Some 2,700 gold miners -- some singing, some swearing, but most looking dazed -- were hauled from deep underground today as efforts continued to bring hundreds more to the surface after an accident crippled an elevator.

There were no casualties when a pressurized air pipe snapped at the mine near Johannesburg and tumbled down a shaft Wednesday, causing extensive damage to an elevator and stranding more than 3,000 miners more than a mile underground.

The trapped workers were bringing brought to the surface in a second, smaller cage in another shaft that can hold about 75 miners at a time. Most of the miners who emerged into the blinding sunlight looked dazed and exhausted, but there were no signs of injuries. The mineworkers union said 500 people were still trapped by evening.

"We nearly died down there," one man yelled as he walked past reporters. "I'd rather leave (the job) than die in the mine."

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