Re posted from PressTV
Five Tanzanian miners rescued after 41 days trapped underground
Tanzania says rescue workers have miraculously saved the lives of five miners who spent 41 days trapped at a tool store in a gold mine deep underground.
The Tanzanian Mining Ministry said on Tuesday that the miners, who were presumed dead, have been hospitalized for treatment.
“The miners were very weak,” said Badra Masoud, spokeswoman for the minister of energy and mines.
On October 5, 20 miners who were working in a gold mine in the northwestern region of Shinyanga were trapped about 100 meters (over 300 feet) underground when the mine shaft collapsed behind them.
Fourteen of the miners managed to escape from the collapsed mine shaft.
One of the six miners that remained trapped in the shaft died during the lengthy entrapment underground.
The remaining five were reportedly in a serious condition in hospital.
The ministry said the group had remained alive during the time by eating cockroaches and frogs they had found.
“We survived by eating cockroaches, frogs and other insects as well as drinking dirty water that seeped in from above,” survivor Chacha Wambura told state-owned television late Monday.
“Batteries of the torches and flashlights ran out and we ended up in a cave that we earlier used as a store for our tools,” Wambura said.
Officials had lost hope of finding survivors and believed that the miners had all died in the collapse.
However, other miners working in a separate shaft had heard voices underground begging for help, and rescue operations were resumed on November 14, finally rescuing the five on Monday.
The mine is located about 900 kilometers (500 miles) west of the economic capital, Dar es Salaam.
Tanzania is Africa’s fourth largest gold producer, and the precious metal is one of the top foreign exchange earners for the country.
Mine collapses happen frequently on the continent due to poor safety regulations.