Rescue workers and volunteers stay at a gold mine where 11 miners are trapped inside after a landslide in San Juan Arriba, Choluteca in southern Honduras, Thursday, July 3, 2014. More than 300 Red Cross volunteers, firefighters and people who live near the mine in the town of El Corpus were digging by hand in an effort to reach the miners. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Three miners were rescued Friday after spending more than two days trapped following a collapse at a small, wildcat gold mine in southern Honduras. Eight others remain missing.
Moises Alvarado, the head of the country's emergency commission, said the rescued miners were in "relatively good health, though they are exhausted and showing signs of severe dehydration." One of the three suffered severe contusions.
Alvarado identified the rescued miners as Byron Maradiaga, Bryan Escalante, 20, and Nehemias Mendez, 28.
A crowd of about 300 residents, volunteers and fellow miners cheered as the rescue workers brought the three miners out one by one in a rescue basket from the mouth of the mine.
Emergency personnel and fellow miners had spent hours supplying water and food to the three miners after hearing their shouts and tunneling small holes into the area where they were trapped.
Marco Tulio Artica, the head of the local fire department, said work to find the remaining miners is slow and hard. Workers have to use picks, shovels, and small pneumatic drills instead of heavy machinery because of the risk of further collapses.
"We still don't know anything about the other eight miners who are in other tunnels," Artica said.
More than 100 police, firefighters, rescue workers and miners were working during the third day of rescue efforts following Wednesday's cave-in.
The miners were trapped about 90 yards (80 meters) into the mine. It collapsed shortly after 22 miners entered, but half were able to get out on their own.