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Cell phone call leads to quick rescue for trapped miners

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  • Rescue squad gets trapped miners out through ventilation shaft, police say
  • Australian gold mine collapses, trapping 27 miners
  • One miner called for help on his cell phone from half a mile below ground
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(CNN) -- Twenty-seven miners were rescued Monday less than five hours after a landslide trapped them deep below ground in a gold mine west of Melbourne, Australia, police said.

When a landslide blocked the mine's main entrance, one of the trapped men, using his personal cell phone, called 000 -- Australia's equivalent to 911 -- from about half a mile (one kilometer) under ground.

He told authorities that none of the miners was seriously hurt, said Sgt. Carla Coslovich, a spokeswoman for Victoria's state police.

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The men were extracted via a caged bucket that was lowered from a crane through a ventilation shaft into the mine, she said.


"It's amazing that they were able to establish contact" from so far below ground, she said, adding that the contact was "minimal."

The incident occurred at 4 a.m. (noon ET Sunday), in the southeastern gold mining town of Mount Clear in Ballarat Province, about 62 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Melbourne, Coslovich said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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