5 claustrophobic stories that will leave you breathless

From the natural riches to the stunning landscapes of the caves to the subway that transports thousands of people every day, many people go underground. The problem is that in some cases they can't get out of there.

We've compiled a list of the five most terrifying (and claustrophobic) stories of people trapped underground.

5. Sago Mine Disaster

(Source: Listverse / Press Release)

The morning of January 2, 2006 was supposed to be normal for workers at Sago Mine in West Virginia, but as they returned to work after vacation around 6:30 am, workers were surprised by an explosion. that shook the mine.

The collapse kept 13 miners trapped 80 meters deep. Although equipped with emergency oxygen packages, not all devices were working; and due to the level of carbon monoxide within the mine, workers lost consciousness. With the full attention of the press, the bodies were found more than 40 hours after the explosion. The only survivor, Randal McCloy, was in critical condition and did not regain consciousness for days.

The cause of the accident was the subject of much controversy. The mine's International Coal Group and two state agencies said lightning probably ignited the methane at the site, causing the explosion. Meanwhile, Mines Workers blamed the disaster on friction between rocks and metal supports and sparks of equipment being restarted after the holidays.

The Sago Mine was reopened a few months later, but its activities were terminated by the International Coal Group shortly thereafter.

4. Alpazat Rescue

(Source: Listverse / Press Release)

In March 2004, 6 British soldiers, members of the Combined Services Caving Association, were inside the Alpazat Caves located in the Mexican state of Puebla. The 36-hour expedition became much longer when flooding prevented them from leaving. The men found themselves trapped on a four-foot ledge above a violent underground river.

Fortunately, cavers were prepared for emergencies and had enough food for days, plenty of light sources, dry clothes, and the river for "hygiene needs." Six members of the group were outside the cave and were able to call rescuers. Eight days later, the men were led one by one by the divers in a 6-hour process.

The return came amid a tension between Mexico and the United Kingdom. Why? When it was discovered that the British entered Mexico on tourist visas alone, without notifying authorities of the caving expedition, there was some suspicion of a search for uranium. Professionals refused Mexico's help and opted to wait for 2 British cave diving experts to arrive in the country. In the end, the divers still worked with 5 local cavers and about 40 Mexican soldiers to rescue the men.

3. Yorkshire rescue attempt

(Source: Listverse / Press Release)

On June 1, 2019, 74-year-old Harry Hesketh explored a cave in Fountains Fell, Yorkshire (USA). Around 11.30 am he fell about 6 meters and broke his leg. Two friends immediately went for help and 94 people worked tirelessly to save him, but the passages were narrow and unmapped.

Even so, rescuers managed to reach Hesketh with medical supplies and began monitoring his condition and keeping him warm. It was clear that he would have to be immobilized to be removed from the cave, and the team tried to widen the passage as quickly as possible. About 12 hours after the fall, Harry Hesketh died, and it took another 5 1/2 hours to remove his body from the scene.

2. Quecreek Rescue

(Source: Listverse / Press Release)

On the night of July 24, 2002, 18 miners were working the second shift at the Quecreek Mine in Pennsylvania. Work was being carried out near the old deactivated Saxman Mine. About 90 meters of rock were believed to separate men from the disused mine. This was not the case. At about 9 pm, workers entered the water-filled Saxman Mine, and millions of gallons rushed to the Quecreek Mine as everyone rushed to save their lives. They stood 73 meters deep in a chamber only 1.2 meters high.

Rescuers spent the early hours of the morning of July 25 drilling a 15cm wide hole to the point where the miners were trapped. After the drill hit the spot, they heard beats indicating that the men were still alive. Hot air was pumped through the narrow well to keep them warm and the water away. That afternoon, the so-called "superbroca" arrived under police escort.

The drilling of a 76 cm wide rescue pit began that night and was initially expected to last 18 hours. However, within a few hours, the drill broke. A replacement part was rushed to the helicopter site while a spare shaft drilled nearby. At 8:00 pm on July 26, drilling of the primary shaft resumed.

However, concern settled among the rescue team, which had not heard any noise from the miners since 12 pm the previous day. Finally, after 10 pm on July 27, the tunnel reached the chamber. Food and a telephone were soon transported to them, and shortly thereafter rescuers began to smile and nod positively. The men were alive.

1. 69 days underground

(Source: Listverse / Press Release)

On August 5, 2010, the San Jose copper and gold mine collapsed near Copiapo, Chile, and 33 workers were trapped 700 meters below the surface. The situation became even more complicated on August 7, when another landslide disrupted access to the ventilation shafts. Rescuers began to create access to find out the state of the workers.

The miners were trapped in hot, humid air at a temperature of 35 ° C, which led some of them to develop fungal infections as well as breathing and eye problems. They only had enough food for 2 days, so they ate two spoons of tuna, half a glass of milk and half a cookie every 2 days. Radiators and a spring provided water, and they stood that way for 17 days.

On August 22, rescuers finally detected a crash in one of the rigs; when they pulled, there was a note indicating that everyone was alive. From that point on, it was possible to send men food, water, and supplies down the well, as well as movies and music, and a cable allowed them to communicate with the outside world, including their families. However, the royal rescue was still far away.

The 33 men developed a routine. They formed three teams that worked, played cards, or slept at 8-hour intervals and worked up and down the tunnels. Meanwhile, three separate drilling rigs were brought to the site and three wells were being excavated.

On October 9, one of the three resources broke into a chamber to which the miners had access. Then came the task of coating the rescue shaft with metal for the extractions. Finally, just after 12:01 am on October 13, the first miner was rescued, and at the end of the day the last man was removed. All 33 survived a total of 69 days underground.