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Nicaragua Rescuers Save 20 Miners; Search Continues

Margarita Mendez is helped by friends while she waits for news of her son Salvador Urbina, one of the miners trapped at El Comal gold and silver mine in Bonanza, Nicaragua, Aug. 29, 2014.

Rescuers in Nicaragua have freed 20 workers from a collapsed gold mine as the search continues for five more.

A wall of mud and rocks trapped the miners at the El Comal site in the town of Bonanza, 420 kilometers northeast of Managua, late Thursday.

Julio Quintero, head of Nicaraguan mining firm Hemco, told Reuters news agency the company closed the El Comal mine about four years ago after it was deemed unsafe. The trapped miners allegedly were working at the site without permission.

Government news site El 19 Digital reported in July 2013 that two workers had died when a mine operated by Hemco collapsed in the same area.

As rescued miner Marvin Urbina was carried from at the El Comal site on a stretcher, he described praying all night to be found.

"I've been praying since yesterday," he said. "Last night, I didn't sleep and I made God a promise if I came out alive. I think that will be my fate from here on out: serve God because He gave us another opportunity."

Some information for this report comes from AP and Reuters.