Chile miner rescued unharmed after being trapped for 52 hours

SANTIAGO (AFP) - A Chilean miner was rescued unharmed on Wednesday after being trapped underground for 52 hours in the northern Atacama region, where 33 miners were dramatically retrieved in August 2010.

The miner, Mr Mario Lopez, 42, told local radio he had not been injured in the accident, which left him trapped some 100 m underground. He was then taken to a regional hospital for evaluation.

The incident took place in the Victoria mine, located near Vallenar, a city some 600 km north of the capital Santiago.

The case echoes the 2010 accident that trapped 33 men in a mine 600m below the surface, also in northern Chile.

Those miners were rescued after 69 days underground in a dramatic operation broadcast live around the world.

Police said they knew that Mr Lopez was alive because he used a hammer to bang on metal tubes running though the mine shaft. The rescuers responded likewise, signaling that help was on the way.