Twenty-eight gold miners in New Zealand were rescued after they were trapped underground following a fire in the mine.
The men were forced into several safety chambers in the mine, located on New Zealand’s north island, reported the Australian Associated Press, citing Newmont Waihi Gold, which owns the facility.
The fire started in the engine of a dump truck. General manager Glen Grindlay said that workers will not work to put out the fire until some time later due to the threat it poses, reported TVNZ.
“[Tires] can explode for up to 24 to 48 hours after having severe heating, so we will isolate that area and then go in there later on,” he said.The Trio mine is a hard rock mine and there was no risk of an explosion, according to New Zealand-based 3 News.
Kit Wilson, a spokesperson with the mine, said the refuge chambers were significant in preventing death and injury, adding that regular training and drills helped.
“This mining group had actually had their exercise just a month ago,” Wilson told the New Zealand Herald. “They happen regularly. The idea is that gold mines aren’t dangerous but they are unforgiving.”
The chambers have oxygen, water, reading material, and decks of cards to keep the miners occupied while awaiting rescue. The chambers provide an atmosphere for up to 36 hours each.