8 trapped Colombian miners rescued alive

May 17, 2011 - 6:13 PM

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Emergency crews on Tuesday rescued eight miners who had spent six hours trapped in a caved-in coal mine in southeastern Colombia, a Red Cross official said.

All the miners are alive and in good condition, Alfonso Vargas, head of the Red Cross in the nearby city of Cali, told The Associated Press by telephone.

Earlier, an official in Cali said rescuers had heard noises inside the mine following the cave-in, though they were not human voices. The miners were trapped about 60 meters (197 feet) from the mine's entrance.

Vargas said the cause of the accident remains unknown, but strong rains have fallen on the region and could have contributed to the collapse.

About 50 rescuers were working at the Loma Gorda mine when the collapse took place early Tuesday.

Authorities said the Loma Gorda had been in operation for 30 years and was legal.