Brighten their holiday. Enrich their everyday.Give The Atlantic

Thirty-Six Days Underground

Ending a long saga, four Chinese miners were rescued on Friday night after more than five weeks trapped 700 feet below the earth.

Guo Xulei / Xinhua via AP

The sad saga of a Chinese mine that collapsed on Christmas Day ended on Friday evening after four miners were rescued after 36 days underground. The four men were the only survivors of the 29 workers who were trapped following the disaster.

Hundreds of workers were involved in the rescue operation, which involved tunneling toward the men and weeks of sending water and food down to them through a narrow borehole.

A special capsule was built to retrieve the men, resembling the method used to extract the 33 miners who spent 69 days underground in Chile in 2010, but on Friday evening, the men simply attached themselves to a harness that was lowered to them.

The mine collapse, as the BBC noted, “was so violent that it registered at China's earthquake monitoring center.” The owner of the mine, Ma Congbo, also took his own life shortly after the incident.