David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

First Trapped Miner Has Been Lifted to Safety in Chile; Rescue Continues Through the Night

COPIAPO, CHILEThe long-awaited rescue of 33 trapped miners in Chile continues.  Shortly after 11:00 PM ET, the first miner was lifted to safety.  The men have been trapped 2,300 feet below the surface in a refuge chamber since August 5th (69 days as of Tuesday).

Chile’s President, rescue workers, and the miners’ families are on hand as the operation continues.

Because of their conditions, the miners will be taken to an on-site medical facility for treatment as soon as they exit the rescue pod.

UPDATE:11:30 ET – – – Chile’s President makes an official announcement to the press telling viewers the first trapped miner has been rescued.  He thanked the rescue workers and says he hopes the rescue efforts will continue to show what the engineers and the people of Chile are capable of.  He wished the miners a full and happy life.  He calls the operation emotional and clean.

“In this operation, the Chileans have shown the best of themselves.”

Chile’s President acknowledges the mine has a long history of problems and vows to build a memorial at “Camp Hope” as a tribute to the miners and the families for all of the turmoil they’ve been through these past months.

11:15 ET – – – After a brief greeting from his family and Chile’s President, the first rescued miner, 31-year-old Florencio Avalos has been taken to an on-site medical facility as a precaution.

The rescue workers, family and friends cheered and exchanged hugs moments after Avalos was freed.  Now, another rescue worker is heading down to continue with the long rescue process.

11:11 ET – – – The first of the rescued miners has been lifted to safety.  Chile’s President and the family of Florencio Avalos are waiting to greet him as he makes his way to the surface.

11:09 ET – – – Live video feed shows the rescue capsule approaching the earth’s surface.  It is carrying 31-year-old Florencio Avalos. 

10:57 ET – – – The first miner has entered the rescue capsule and is being lifted to safety.  The family of 31-year-old miner Florencio Avalos is anxiously waiting at the top of the rescue shaft for him to be lifted the 2,300 feet from the refuge chamber to the surface.

The long awaited rescue mission to free 33 Chilean miners trapped since August 5th is now under way.

Underground camera shows the miners waiting to be rescued as the operation continues through the night.

A rescue capsule has reached the trapped miners and the country’s Mining Minister hopes the first worker will be lifted to safety by 11 o’clock eastern time.

CNN is reporting the capsule carrying rescue worker Manuel Gonzalez reached the trapped miner’s refuge around 10:30 ET Tuesday night.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and his wife are at the site of the rescue.  He joined others who’ve gathered there in clapping and wishing Gonzalez luck as he began his journey 2,300 feet below the surface.

One by one, the miners will be lifted from the underground mine to safety.

CNN is reporting thousands of Chileans have gathered in the town square of Copiapo, Chile.  The government has provided a live video feed and monitors so the growing crowd can watch the rescue live has it happens.

(CNN.COM) — TVN, Chilean state TV, has released the preliminary order in which the miners will be lifted to the surface. The order will be finalized when rescuers are lowered into the refuge. The preliminary order, according to TVN, is as follows:

1) Florencio Avalos, 31, who recorded the videos – sent up to the surface – that showed the world what conditions inside the mine have been like; 2) Mario Sepulveda, 40, who has served as a narrator in the videos; 3) Juan Illanes, 52, an electrical mechanic; 4) Carlos Mamani, 23, a Bolivian and the only non-Chilean in the mine; 5) Jimmy Sanchez, 19, the youngest in the mine; 6) Osman Araya, 30; 7) Jose Ojeda; No. 8, Claudio Yanez, 34; 9) Mario Gómez, 63, the oldest in the mine; 10) Alex Vega, 31; 11) Jorge Galleguillos, 56; 12) Edison Pena, 34; 13) Carlos Barrios, 27; 14) Victor Zamora, 33; 15) Victor Segovia, 48; 16) Daniel Herrera, 27; 17) Omar Reygadas, 56; 18) Esteban Rojas, 44; 19) Pablo Rojas, 45; 20) Dario Segovia, 48; 21) Yonni Barrios, 50; 22) Samuel Avalos, 43; 23) Carlos Bugueno, 27; 24) Jose Henriquez, 54; 25) Renan Ávalos, 29; 26) Claudio Acuna; 27) Franklin Lobos, 53; 28) Richard Villarroel, 27; 29) Juan Carlos Aguilar, 49; 30) Raúl Bustos, 40; 31) Pedro Cortez, 25; 32) Ariel Ticona, 29; 33) Luis Urzua, 54, a shift foreman whose voice rescuers first heard when voice contact was made.

— David Shepherd with CNN Sources

October 12, 2010 - Posted by | News & Current Events | , , , , , , , ,

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