Thursday, October 14, 2010

Last trapped Chile miner resqued

Last trapped Chile miner rescued

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The first miner to be rescued was Florencio Avalos
The last of the 33 miners trapped deep underground in northern Chile for more than two months has been rescued.
Luis Urzua, the shift supervisor who was credited with helping the men survive the first 17 days before rescue teams made contact, was greeted by his family and President Sebastian Pinera.
The six rescuers sent down to assist the miners must now be winched up.
Many of the miners have severe dental infections and some have eye problems. One has been diagnosed with pneumonia.
But the Health Minister, Jaime Manalich, stressed that all appeared to be in far better condition than expected.
The men have been trapped underground since 5 August, when a rockfall caused a tunnel to collapse.
President Pinera meanwhile told the BBC he believed the rescue operation would change his country's image in the world.
'Gracias Chile!' The rescue operation began shortly after 2315 on Tuesday (0215 GMT on Wednesday) with a technical expert, Manuel Gonzalez, being lowered down the 624m (2,047ft) shaft.
Mr Gonzalez was supposed to return to the surface and report on the condition of the rescue shaft, before handing over to a paramedic.

Order of rescue

Pictures of the 32 rescued miners
Florencio Avalos (31), Mario Sepulveda (39), Juan Illanes (51), Carlos Mamani (23), Jimmy Sanchez (19), Osman Araya (30), Jose Ojeda (46), Claudio Yanez (34), Mario Gomez (63), Alex Vega (31), Jorge Galleguillos (56), Edison Pena (34), Carlos Barrios (27), Victor Zamora (33), Victor Segovia (48), Daniel Herrera (27), Omar Reygadas (56), Esteban Rojas (44), Pablo Rojas (45), Dario Segovia (48), Yonni Barrios (50), Samuel Avalos (43), Carlos Bugueno (27), Jose Henriquez (54), Renan Avalos (29), Claudio Acuna, (35), Franklin Lobos (53), Richard Villarroel (27), Juan Aguilar (49), Raul Bustos (40), Pedro Cortez (24), Ariel Ticona (29), Luis Urzua (54)
However, a live video feed from the refuge where the miners were gathered showed Mr Avalos getting into the "Phoenix" capsule. He was chosen to lead the way because he was one of the fittest of the miners.
Mr Avalos reached the surface at 0010 (0310 GMT) and was greeted by his family, rescuers, President Pinera and the first lady, Cecilia Morel.
Bystanders cheered and clapped, and then started chanting "Chile".
Mr Avalos gave a thumbs-up before being taken in an ambulance to a medical triage centre and then given time with his family.
Mr Pinera, his wife and Mining Minister Laurence Golborne have been at the head of the shaft for most of the rescue operation.
Those freed earlier were:
  • Jimmy Sanchez, 19, the youngest of the group who had only been working at the mine for five months and had been showing signs of anxiety
  • Mario Gomez, at 63 the oldest miner, who sent up a letter shortly after the miners were found to be alive, saying that the mining company "has got to modernise"
  • Jose Ojeda, whose scribbled note - which read "All 33 of us are safe in the shelter" - informed the world the miners were still alive 17 days after the rockfall that trapped them
  • Bolivian Carlos Mamani, the only non-Chilean, who was greeted by his president, Evo Morales
  • Mario Sepulveda, who brought a bag of stones from the mine as souvenirs
  • Juan Illanes, a former soldier who urged his fellow miners to be disciplined and organised while trapped
  • Claudio Yanez, who became engaged to his partner of 11 years, Cristina Nunez, during the ordeal
  • Yonni Barrios, whose wife only found out about his mistress when they both attended a vigil for him
  • Edison Pena, who became known as "the runner" because he ran up to 5km (3 miles) a day through the mine tunnels to keep himself fit
  • Victor Zamora, not a miner but a driver who had gone underground to repair a vehicle and was trapped by the rockfall
  • Omar Reygadas, a bulldozer operator who, after leaving the capsule, knelt on the ground clutching a Bible
  • Esteban Rojas, who while underground told his girlfriend of 25 years that he now wanted to marry her
  • Jose Henriquez, an evangelical preacher who had the job of keeping up his colleagues' spirits
  • Claudio Acuna, one of the "palomeros" who handled packages for the group; he celebrated his birthday down the mine
  • Franklin Lobos, a former professional soccer player in a Chilean league who received a signed t-shirt sent to the mine by Barcelona star David Villa
  • Richard Villarroel, whose partner Dana Castro is heavily pregnant
  • Raul Bustos, whose wife has described him as the "luckiest unlucky man on Earth". He lost his builder's business in the central port city of Talcahuano during Chile's earthquake in February, and headed north to the San Jose mine for a new start
  • Alex Vega, Jorge Galleguillos, Carlos Barrios, Victor Segovia, Daniel Herrera, Pablo Rojas, Dario Segovia, Osman Araya, Samuel Avalos, Carlos Bugueno and Renan Avalos, Juan Aguilar, Pedro Cortez, Ariel Ticona
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Mario Sepulveda handed out stones to the rescue team on the surface
Following their reunions with relatives, the miners were flown by helicopter to hospital in the nearby city of Copiapo.
Outside the hospital, barriers have been set up to cope with the crowds of onlookers and journalists.
During their journey to the surface, the miners wore a "bio-harness" designed for astronauts, which monitors their heart rate, breathing, temperature and oxygen consumption.

“Start Quote

To see the miners coming from the bowel of the mountain to the surface and hug their wives, their daughters with so much emotion and joy has been something”
End Quote Sebastian Pinera President of Chile
They were also given sunglasses to protect their eyes from the glare of the desert after more than two months underground.
Earlier, President Pinera told the BBC that it had been a day Chileans would never forget.
"To see the miners coming from the bowel of the mountain to the surface and hug their wives, their daughters with so much emotion and joy has been something. It has proven the value of faith, the value of commitment, the value of teamwork."
Mr Pinera said he hoped people would now associate Chile with the mission to get the miners out, rather than its years of military rule.
"They will remember what we've done all the Chileans together because here all the Chileans are united, committed with this rescue effort, and that's an example for the whole world," he added.
He also vowed to change safety standards to protect miners.
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