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Australian Miners Freed


Two Australian miners trapped underground for two weeks have been freed, prompting celebrations in the town of Beaconsfield, Tasmania.

A church bell not rung since the end of World War II tolled early Tuesday to signal the end of the ordeal, which began with an earthquake on April 25. That temblor sent tons of rock crashing down in the mine shaft, killing another miner.

But the two survivors, Brant Webb and Todd Russell, were trapped in a tiny steel cage, where rescuers detected them five days later. Emergency teams sent food and water in through a small plastic pipe while rescuers dug an escape tunnel.

The miners walked out of the mine shaft in good condition Tuesday, joking and hugging family and friends. An ambulance drove them to a hospital for evaluation, with doors open, so supporters could see them.

A funeral for the dead miner is to be held Tuesday. The family of the man delayed the funeral in the hopes that the two trapped miners would be freed and could attend. Witnesses say it is likely they will.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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