Miraculous and Impossible Underground Rescues

Search and rescue (SAR) is exactly as it sounds; it is the search for and aid to people who are in distress or danger. Once a search begins it is estimated that the mortality rate increases significantly after the first five to seven days. Not only does access to clean water become an issue but psychological stress is also a factor that comes into play.  With that being said, there have been some rescues which were nothing short of a miracle. Let’s take a look at some of the most amazing rescues on the Internet.

1. Salt Lake City Mine Shaft, United States

In 1989 while exploring an abandoned mineshaft near Salt Lake City Utah, Joshua Dennis, a Cub Scout who was only 10 years old, was separated from the other Cubs and his father, the scout leader, when he took the wrong exit. Joshua spent the next five days sleeping on a rock and eating the 10 pieces of licorice he brought with him. As the days went on, rescuers began to doubt that he was still alive. They Went past him several times and it wasn’t until they heard his faint cries that they found him. Joshua suffered from dehydration and frostbite, but he made a full recovery. 

2. Wangjialing Coal Mine, China

In 2010 workers at the Wangjialing Coal Mine in China became trapped after they hit an old water-filled shaft while digging a tunnel. The mine which had over 100 workers, immediately became submerged with enough water to fill 55 Olympic-sized swimming pools. During the eight days that they were trapped, many of the workers decided to eat coal, tree bark, and even drinking the muddy water that trapped them inside. Above ground, there were thousands of rescuers working non-stop to pump water out of the shaft after divers failed to reach the men. In total, 115 men were rescued, many of whom suffered from dehydration, hypothermia, infection, and shock.

3. Bam Earthquake, Iran

In 2004 and earthquake destroyed the ancient city of Bam in Iran and left a woman in her 90s, Shahrbanou Mazandarani, trapped beneath pieces of furniture. For eight days rescuers tried to look for her and experts had given up hope as it would be impossible to survive for more than three days without food or water. On the 8th day, rescue dogs discovered her hand sticking out from under the rubble. After digging for three hours, they found her wrapped up in a blanket completely unharmed. According to her God had kept her alive. Her request once rescued was for a cup of tea.

 4. Beaconfield Gold Mine, Australia

In 2006, Tasmanian miners, Todd Russell and Brant Webb, became trapped in the cage of their cherry picker when an earthquake caused underground rock to fall beneath them. Rescuers located them five days into the search but because of their precarious position, it would take some time to dig them out. Before they were located, the two men survived by licking water off nearby rocks and by sharing a cereal bar. After, they were sent food via a 40-foot-long pipe while they listened to music by the Foo Fighters via an MP3 player. After using drills, chainsaws, rock splinters and dynamite, the men were rescued on the 14th day.

5. Port-au-Prince Earthquake, Haiti

In 2010, just a few hours after the United Nations declared to stop all search and rescue efforts, Wismond Exantus, was found in the wreckage of the Napoli hotel shop where he had been for 11 days. Before his rescue he was surviving off the shop’s stock, eating cookies and drinking beer to survive. Wismond’s brotherhood him crying in the distance while searching through the hotel ruins. When his location was confirmed, an international team was brought in to drill through the concrete. He finally made it out through a hole that was no larger than the width of his shoulders. Had it not been for his brother, who refused to give up looking for him, he may not have made it out alive. 

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