3 rescues Chile miners could take hope from

Philippines: Gold miners rescued

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    Rescuers recover a body from inside a flooded mine where at least 13 gold miners are trapped in the mining town of Itogon in the northern Philippines on September 25, 2008.
    Gabriel Malaya/AFP/Newscom
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In 2008, 16 Filipinos were mining without a permit in an abandoned gold mine in Itogon township. A typhoon hit and flooded the tunnels, trapping the men inside for a week. Ten survived.

In this case, the men were saved by rescue workers and Navy divers who waded into the maze of tunnels and shafts to locate the men. While waiting, the men also required perseverance and stamina. Several of them only survived by standing on a ledge above the water where there was enough oxygen to keep them alive, the BBC reported. One man said he survived by eating part of his shirt, the Associated Press reported.

"The men said they survived on dripping rainwater collected in plastic containers," according to the AP.

In Chile, reports the AP, supplies and capsules carrying oxygen are being sent down through a six-inch hole to the lower reaches of the gold and copper mine where the men are located.

Benguet province, where they were operating, is the site of much small-scale mining. In 2010 it was announced that small scale miners were required to have permits, reported local newspaper Sun Star.

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