Final Chilean Miner Brought To Surface After 22 1/2-Hour Rescue Effort
October 14, 2010 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — All of the 33 trapped Chilean miners were brought safely to the surface Thursday night as the miner’s foreman came above ground after a 22 1/2 -hour rescue operation.
At 8:55 p.m. Eastern Time the rescue operation to save the men, who have been trapped underground for the longest period of time ever and survived, ended when Luis Urzua surfaced.
“We have done what the entire world was waiting for,” Urzua said to Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, according to The Associated Press. “The 70 days that we fought so hard were not in vain. We had strength, we had spirit, we wanted to fight, we wanted to fight for our families, and that was the greatest thing.”
Rescue workers hugged and sang the Chilean national anthem as the families and friends of the miners sprayed champagne and confetti.
“You’re not the same after this and neither are we,” President Sebastián Piñera told Urzua in televised remarks, according to Business Week. “We will never forget this.”
The miners have been trapped underground for more then two months after a rock collapsed above them at San José gold and copper mine. There are still six rescue workers who still need to be brought up from the mine.
“Tonight we experienced a night we will never forget – full of emotion, full of joy,” Piñera said, according to the Telegraph newspaper in the United Kingdom.
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Image: Globovisión @ Flickr.