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Timeline of the Australian Miner Rescue Effort

A timeline of events since a rock fall trapped two Australian miners:

—April 25: A 2.1 magnitude earthquake triggers rock fall at 9:23 p.m. in the century-old Beaconsfield Gold Mine on southern Australian island state of Tasmasina. Of 17 miners underground, 14 escape unhurt. Three are trapped.

—April 26: Remote-controlled earth-mover begins clearing tons of rock 3,000 feet underground.

—April 27: Body of Larry Knight, 44, is found. Search continues for Brant Webb, 37, and Todd Russell, 34. Rescuers begin blasting from nearby tunnel.

—April 30: Contact made with Webb and Russell at 5:45 p.m. after thermal imaging cameras detect their body heat and a microphone picks up their voices. Their families and residents celebrate.

—May 1: Rescuers pass the pair biscuits through a narrow pipe forced through a crevice. Water, food, vitamins, space blankets, fresh clothing and batteries for their headlamps follow.

—May 2: Doctors say both men in good spirits and have only minor scratches to their hands from trying to dig themselves out.

—May 3: Webb and Russell receive toiletries, notes from their families, iPods and their first solid food. Rescuers install machine to cut rescue tunnel.

—May 4: Teams complete narrow tunnel to guide larger drilling head. At 8 p.m. start boring 52-foot-long escape tunnel.

—May 5: Drilling continues at rate of about 18 inches an hour.

—May 6: Rescuers begin cutting final 10 feet of rock. Hundreds gather at the mine gates in hopes of welcoming the men.

—May 7: Less than six feet from the trapped men, rescuers switch to hand drills to avoid cave-in. Local TV journalist Richard Carleton, 62, dies of a heart attack shortly after questioning mine manager at news conference.

—May 8: Workers move into position just beneath Webb and Russell; a foot of hard rock and two feet of rock and debris separate them.

—May 9: Miners walk unaided out of the mine, hugging family and friends before climbing into ambulances.

Click here for Australian news website news.com.au

CountryWatch: Australia