Indonesian miner trapped for a week rescued

SYDNEY (AFP) - A miner trapped for a week underground in Indonesia after a tunnel collapsed has been rescued and is recovering in hospital, Australia's Newcrest Mining said on Tuesday (Feb 16).

Pak Mursalim Sahman had been stuck 300m below the surface since the incident at Gosowong Gold Mine on Halmahera Island, operated by a Newcrest subsidiary, on Feb 9.

All other workers were safely evacuated at the time.

A small bore hole was drilled down to where the worker was trapped a day later and the man confirmed he was in good health and had supplies of food and water.

Another small drill hole allowed water, food and a communication link to be sent down so he could speak with the rescue team and his family.

Newcrest chief executive Sandeep Biswas said the company, one of the world's largest gold miners, sought help from other miners and advisors who had led similar underground rescue efforts and he was finally pulled free on Tuesday (Feb 16).

"He is now being transported to the surface after which he will be taken to the Gosowong medical centre for health checks and to be reunited with his family," Newcrest said in a statement.

"All mining and processing operations remain suspended at Gosowong." The cause of the "geotechnical" incident at the mine, some 2,450km north-east of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, is being investigated.

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