WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Twenty-eight miners have been rescued from a New Zealand gold mine after a fire trapped the men underground for up to seven hours.
A truck engine caught fire early Tuesday at the Trio mine in the North Island town of Waihi. Mine officials said the ventilation system pumped smoke through the mine that could be seen coming out the vent shaft.
Initially, 28 men were trapped about 150 meters (500 feet) underground in safety chambers. After more than 5 hours, 13 men taking refuge in two safety chambers were rescued. After seven hours, the remaining men in a third chamber were also rescued.
Mine spokesman Kit Wilson says one man was being checked by medical officials for suspected smoke inhalation but the rest are fine.