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Polish miners trapped by quake rescued

POLKOWICE, Poland, March 20 (UPI) -- Nineteen miners were rescued from an underground copper mine in Poland after being trapped for more than 8 hours following an earthquake, officials said.

The European Seismological Center said a 5-magnitude earthquake struck Tuesday night about 250 miles from Warsaw, Polskie Radio reported.

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"Eighteen of the men are completely unscathed, and they were able to go to the locker room, take a shower and return home," KGHM Polish Copper Group spokesman Dariusz Wyborski told TVN24 news channel. "One of the men sustained a 3-centimeter [just more than an inch] gash to the head that will need several stitches."

The rescue team located the miners, who had with oxygen masks, shortly after 5 a.m., about 5 hours after the earthquake. All the miners were freed about 2 hours later.

The Rudna mine in Polkowice is KGHM Polish Copper's deepest mine. In February 2010, five men were killed following an earthquake.

Residents of Polkowice and nearby communities told TVN24 how the earthquake caused houses and household items to rattle as the ground shook.

One person, identified by TVN24 as Agnieszka, a resident of Lubin, said Tuesday's earthquake felt stronger than previous temblors.

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"I saw dangling chandeliers, things falling off the shelves," he said.

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