Rescuers Free 22 of 26 Nicaraguan Miners Trapped by Landslide

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Image: Nicaragua mine rescue
A miner is taken to a hospital after being rescued by members of SINAPRED during an operation to reach a group of miners trapped in a gold mine in the community of El Comal, near Bonanza in northeastern Nicaragua. More than 20 miners were trapped alive deep underground after an informal gold mine collapsed in northeastern.INTI OCON / AFP - Getty Images

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BONANZA, Nicaragua — Nicaraguan rescuers have saved 22 of at least 26 workers trapped in a mine collapse and were working Saturday to free the rest, officials said. First Lady Rosario Murillo said 20 of the miners were freed late Friday, in addition to two who made their way to safety shortly after a Thursday morning collapse cut off the exit at the El Comal gold and silver mine in the town of Bonanza left them cut off in a mine shaft.

Rescued miner Marvin Urbina, 34, said he and some of his fellow miners saw an avalanche of mud and rock coming their way. They stuck to the walls of the mine but at least four of their co-workers were crushed by the mud and rock streaming down the shaft, he said. "I asked God to let me live and he listened to me and now I will serve Him," an emotional Urbina told Channel 6.

Interior Vice Minister Carlos Najar said the miners were a bit dehydrated but in good health. The miners were checked by paramedics and taken to a clinic in Bonanza, about 260 miles northeast of Managua.

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— The Associated Press

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