Nicaraguan rescue workers led by miners acting as tunnel guides have successfully rescued the first 20 miners trapped in an old gold and silver mine in the northern mining zone of Bonanza. The miners, who had been trapped for more than 34 hours, were rescued Friday night, following a full day of steadily increasing rescue efforts. Two other miners managed to escape on their own, and an additional five miners are thought still to be trapped somewhere in the earth’s bowels, according to press reports.
The 20 rescued miners, ages 18-30, were saved by a joint team of rescue workers from Managua, firemen, soldiers, and other miners who led the dangerous missing down the rickety ladders and through the tunnels of the old Hemco mine.
“How heroic, those artisanal miners,” cooed First Lady Rosario Murillo. “How they moved through the mine, detecting the voices [of the trapped miners] and guiding [the rescue workers].”
The first lady also thanked God, the Virgin Mary, and the Sandinista Family Councils for their good work, without offering details about what role each actor played in the rescue effort. Murillo additionally thanked God for “giving” Nicaragua the government it has.
The search continues today for the other missing miners.