Miracle Miners Ascending to the Surface of Chilean Mine One by One

Oct. 13, 2010
Many thought this day would never come: 33 miners trapped 2,300 feet underground in a Chilean mine since August 5 are beginning to make their way to the surface. By this time tomorrow, barring any unforeseen delays, all of the trapped miners should be back with their families.

The first miner rescued, Florencio Avalos, was pulled to the surface in a rescue pod at 11:13 pm EST on Oct. 12. Officials say that each rescue takes approximately 40 minutes.

Family members, weeping with joy, are able to hug their loved ones for the first time in 68 days.

Early in the rescue effort, the pod that was used to lift the miners to the surface was damaged during a practice run, causing some tense moments. The pod was repaired and preparations for the rescue continued.

Before the miners were brought to the surface, rescuers descended in the pod to examine them and assess the situation. Miners were placed in oxygen masks and sunglasses before they were raised to the surface.

All of the rescued miners, once they greeted their families and friends, stopped to thank the rescuers.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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