Three miners who were trapped in a coal mine for five days have been rescued and are now recovering at a hospital near Colombia’s capital city.
Manuel Sanchez, Juvenes Avila and Javier Salas were carried out of a mine in the municipality of Lenguazaque Sunday night with their eyes bandaged and covered by dark sunglasses in a rescue operation that was witnessed in person by Colombia’s president. The group was working in the coal mine last week when a carriage came loose and crashed into one of its walls causing the main entrance to collapse.
Rescue operations started Wednesday night. By Friday rescue workers had established communication with the miners, who were 21 metres inside the mine, and sent them snacks like peanuts and soft drinks through a large hose.
Read more: Canadian mine safety in a global context
The miners were taken to a hospital in the nearby town of Ubate, where doctors said they are recovering from dehydration and are in stable condition.
This was the third mining accident in the Lenguazaque area in the past three years. In 2018, three miners were rescued from a collapsed mine, while in 2017 a mining accident in the area killed two.
Sanchez told local radio station Caracol that he prayed for his life while he was trapped in the mine with his colleagues and promised God that if he was rescued he would stop drinking alcohol.