Rescuers free trapped Nicaraguan miners

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Onlookers cheered as the miners emerged from their underground ordeal

Most of 24 trapped Nicaraguan gold miners have been freed after a mine collapse, officials said.

The miners were slightly dehydrated but otherwise in good health said Deputy Interior Minister Carlos Najjar.

It is not known if the remaining miners have been located yet.

They were trapped when a shaft at the El Comal mine collapsed after heavy rains on Thursday. The mine lies near Bonanza, a town 420km (260 miles) north-east of the capital Managua.

The men were reportedly freelance miners who were not directly employed by a mining company.

The mine's owner, Colombian firm Hemco, said it had recently found the mine to be unsafe.

It said it had warned miners against entering the mines after two men died in a landslide last month.