Two Australians Freed After Two Weeks in Gold Mine

05-08-06 - Two Australian miners trapped by an earthquake two weeks ago are now described as safe and well. A gold mine manager says Brant Webb and Todd Russell were lifted from their underground tomb after painstaking rescue work with hand-held tools.

The miners were lodged in a steel case beneath tons of fallen rocks some 3,000 feet underground. Hard-rock miners got through more than 45 feet of rock with a giant drilling machine. But cutting the final sections of the escape tunnel had to be done with diamond-tipped hand tools to avoid a cave-in. Some of the chain saws and jackhammers they used weighed as much as 88 pounds.