Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chilean Miners Rescued

On August 5 the San José copper-gold mine, near Copiapó, Chile, collapsed and trapped 33 miners.  On October 13th after 69 days, the miners were all rescued safe and sound and welcomed back with a huge celebration.  The rescue mission was so perfectly organized and co-ordinated - we knew the whole time which miner was coming up, who the family members were waiting for them and watching all of this unfold and seeing everyone being hugged and the faces of the miners as each one was brought to the surface had me in tears 33 times.  What better way to spend some tears?

From Wikipedia....

On 22 August at 07:15 CLT, another probe reached a ramp, at 688 meters (2,257 ft) underground, about 20 metres from a shelter where the miners were expected to have taken refuge. The miners had listened to the drills approaching for days and had prepared pre-written notes to their rescuers on the surface as well as making sure they had adhesive tape to secure the prepared notes to the drill once its tip poked into their space. The notes surprised the rescuers when they pulled the drill bit out and discovered the letters, the miners having survived longer than anyone had expected.  At 15:17 CLT, President Sebastián Piñera showed the media the note after it had been placed in a document protector, sent from the miners' shelter far below, written on a piece of paper with a red marker, that confirmed the miners were alive. The note read: "Estamos bien en el refugio los 33" (English: "We are well in the shelter, the 33 of us").

Hours later, cameras sent down the bore hole made contact with the miners, taking the first images of the trapped workers. The miners had a 50 square meter shelter with two long benches, but ventilation problems had led them to move out to a tunnel. In addition to the shelter, they had some 2 km of galleries in which to move around. The miners used backhoes to dig for trapped water. Some water was obtained from the radiators of vehicles inside the mineshaft.[19] Health officials are running tests on the water. Food supplies were limited and the men may have lost 8 to 9 kg (17–20 pounds) each. Although the emergency supplies were intended for only two or three days, the miners rationed them to last for 17 days until contact with the surface. They consumed "two little spoonfuls of tuna, a sip of milk and a biscuit every 48 hours" and a morsel of peach. They used the batteries of a truck to power their helmet lamps.

This is a testament to the way other cultures live - no ego, a sense of community and the will to make sure each and every man who was trapped got out in one piece.

Waiting for rescue 700 meters below the earth's surface.

The capsule used to rescue each miner.

The pod arriving where the miners were trapped.

A miner stepping out of the pod into the arms of a loved one.

A miner embraced by the president of Chile.

The 33rd and last miner rescued after 69 days.

This speaks for itself.

Have a fabulous day!


pretty pink tulips said...

Every reunion was emotional to witness. The world has witnessed a miracle. Doesn't get any better than that.

Karena said...

Love this moving story, it was very emotional...

I have a Luxurious New Giveaway on my site!

Art by Karena

Southern Champagne Wishes said...

I cried each time, too, but they were definitely happy tears. I only got to see the first three live on television because the news channel I was watching cut off the live feed at 2:00am my time.

This is such a miracle! I love a happy story on the news in the midst of the usual negativity.

High Heeled Life said...

What an amazing miracle... I am so happy for all the miners and their family members, friends.

May we all take a moment to appreciate just how precious life really is and that all can change in a blink of an eye! And choose to live a simple and happy life ... knowing what really matters .... HUgs HHL

Anonymous said...

I was glued to the tv yesterday! It's wonderful to have such a happy ending!

Anonymous said...

This makes me so happy! I love that last picture, like she's in such disbelief that he's finally out :)

Tammy B said...

I could not tear myself away from this. I was so excited that all 33 of the miners were rescued.

BroncoMom said...

How could you not be touched by this story?

Fried Pink Tomato said...

What an amazing story! So touching and such a happy ending!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

This was an awesome story.