Trapped South Korean miners rescued after nine days survived on instant coffee powder

South Korea Miners Rescued (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
South Korea Miners Rescued (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Two South Korean miners who were trapped underground were rescued after nine days, during which they ate instant coffee powder and drank water falling from the ceiling of a collapsed shaft, in what is being seen as a “truly miraculous” survival.

The two men, aged 62 and 56, were pulled out to safety on Friday night from the collapsed shaft at a zinc mine in the southeastern town of Bonghwa.

Both men were in fairly good condition though they initially said they were suffering hypothermia and muscle pains, according to reports.

The miners shared 30 sticks of instant coffee while trapped underground and kept warm by lighting a fire and building a tent out of plastic while stranded 200 metres (650 feet) under the ground, according to reports.

President Yoon Suk Yeol called their rescue “miracle-like” and “touching.” He wrote on Facebook: “Thank you and thank you again for coming back safely from the crossroads of life and death.”

Emergency workers drilled a hole and inserted a small camera in an effort to locate the miners, BBC reported, quoting South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

The miners were discovered sitting shoulder to shoulder to keep warm, in a spacious chamber where several mine shafts meet, the report said.

With additional reporting from agencies