Source AP ©

Twenty seven miners rescued in Australia

As they waited to be rescued from the collapsed sharft, twenty seven miners chatted about their families to keep their spirits up after a call to emergency services hot line.

The men were rescued unharmed from the gold mine at Mount Clear in southern Victoria state after spending more than four hours trapped several hundred meters (yards) beneath the surface.

Shift manager Les Clayton said he discovered the blocked shaft when he went to investigate a power cut, then moved his workers into a refuge chamber before calling "000" - Australia's version of "911" - on his mobile phone and, to his surprise, getting through.

"I believe the mobile phone reception was quite bad, (but) the call was able to be received," police Senior Constable Leigh Wadeson said.

A rescue operation was quickly launched, and all 27 men were winched to safety through an air shaft.

"There's been no injuries, everybody is safe. They've been reunited with their families," said Joe Dowling, a spokesman for Lihir Gold, the company that owns the mine.

Clayton said the men avoided talking about the cave-in as they passed the time so fear would not set in.

"You talk about the positive things in life ... your girlfriend, your wife, your kids, anything," Clayton said, adding: "I'm shaken, not stirred."

Asked what the rescued miners would do on Monday after their rescue, Clayton said he hoped "they're doing what I'll be doing this afternoon - throwing a bourbon down the back of my throat."

The company and state safety officials said they would separately investigate the cause of the collapse.

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