South Korea miners survive nine days underground in zinc mine

November 7, 2022

A pair of miners trapped in a zinc mine in South Korea reportedly survived for nine days in the mine on water and instant coffee powder while keeping warm with a tent made of plastic.

The BBC reported that the men are said to be in a stable condition.

It comes during a period of national mourning for South Korea, after more than 150 people were killed in a crush in the capital Seoul.

The two miners were stranded nearly 200 m (650 ft) underground after part of the zinc mine they were working in collapsed on Oct. 26 in Bonghwa, in the east of the country.

They were finally rescued on Nov. 4 - more than nine days after their ordeal began. Both were able to walk out of the mine and were taken to a local hospital. Their doctor said they should make a full recovery.

President Yoon Suk-yeol called their rescue “truly miraculous.”

“Thank you and thank you again for coming back safely from the crossroads of life and death,” he wrote on Facebook.

Authorities said the miners survived by drinking water that fell from the ceiling and using instant coffee mix powder as a meal.

The rescue operation began when emergency workers drilled a hole and inserted a small camera in an effort to locate the miners, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

The miners were eventually discovered sitting shoulder to shoulder to keep warm, in a spacious chamber where several mine shafts meet.
The niece of one of the survivors described how her uncle didn’t recognize her when he came out, because he was wearing an eye-mask after nearly 10 days in the dark.


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