A woman was rescued after falling down a remote, abandoned mine shaft in Australia and spending two days at the bottom of the 26-foot hole.
Cinthya Charty, a 26-year-old mother of two, went missing on Friday night from a mining camp in Lightning Ridge, a remote town famous for its surrounding opal mines.
She went for a midnight walk and tripped over barbed wire, falling to the bottom of the old shaft, which did not have a ladder. She then endured two days in which the above-ground temperatures reached 106F (41C).
"There’s nothing I could do because there’s no ladder on the hole so I just sat and waited for help to come," she told ABC News.
"I didn’t have a phone on me, I just yelled and screamed, ‘help’."
Police said they sent out a drone which located the old mine shaft on Sunday morning.
"They located the mine shaft so they’ve then checked the mine shaft and called out and the female responded," said Inspector David Checkley from the local police command.
Officers used a harness and pully to lift Ms Charty out.
Describing the ordeal, she said: "I was relieved because I thought I was going to die down there."
Despite the heat, the shaft was relatively cool and Ms Charty was described as being in good spirits after she emerged. She was treated for cuts and abrasions at the local hospital.
"We were pretty lucky in this situation in that the temperature in the mine shaft was quite low — the temperature there is normally about 72F (22C) — so that assisted in this situation," said Inspector Checkley.
"She’s reported that she went for a midnight walk from the camp, which is obviously dangerous in those sorts of area. She’s told us that she certainly won’t be doing that again."
Fiona Lee, Ms Charty’s mother, said the rescue was a “Christmas miracle”.
“I was very fearful that something bad had happened,” she told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.
“I had a gut feeling that she’d either fallen down a mine or she’d been bitten by a snake… She’s very, very, very fortunate and very lucky. We are so blessed she’s still alive.”
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