Earthquake traps nine miners in BHP mine

Nine BHP Billiton miners have been rescued after an earthquake rocked an underground nickel mine in Western Australia.

Workers were trapped after they managed to find cover in a refuge chamber in BHP’s Nickel West Leinster Perseverance mine when a 3.7 magnitude earthquake struck central WA at approximately 6.25am yesterday morning.

The nine men were trapped underground for nine hours before being rescued.

"This is standard safety procedure during an event such as this,'' BHP Billiton said in a statement.

The miners, who were not injured, were freed just before 4pm yesterday afternoon.

“All individuals have been bought to the surface safely,” the company said.

The underground will remain closed until a thorough safety inspection is completed.

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