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Poland quake-trapped miners rescued

Nineteen miners safely pulled out of copper mine in southwestern Poland after spending seven hours trapped underground.
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2013 13:32
Poland has large numbers of mines, mostly in the heavily industrialised Silesia region [Reuters]

Nineteen copper miners in Poland have been rescued after being trapped underground for seven hours by a cave-in caused by an earthquake, a mine spokesman said.

Four of the 42 workers on duty at the Rudna copper mine in southwestern Poland were lightly injured in the collapse brought on by the 10-second quake, spokesman Dariusz Wyborski told reporters on Wednesday.

The miners were trapped around 1,000 metres below the ground but their colleagues were able to tell rescuers where they were located, he added.

The incident took place at the Rudna mine, about 400km southwest of Warsaw, the Polish capital.

The men received medical attention once they reached the surface, but only one was taken to hospital for stitches to his head.

"It was a very dramatic night, but luckily the day began with good news," Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters.  

The mine, which has been in operation since 1974, is in the Silesia region, near Poland's borders with Germany and the Czech Republic.

KGHM, the state-controlled operator, is Europe's second-biggest copper producer.

Poland has large numbers of mines, mostly in heavily industrialised Silesia. In 2006, a gas explosion at a coal mine in the region killed 23 miners.

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