For the past two months, the world has been entranced with the story of 33 Chilean miners trapped in a mine. They’ve been surviving since Aug. 5, when a rock fall blocked off the exit to the mine. They’ve had little more than what is needed to survive over the last two months. and according to officials, the “plan b” escape shaft is ready to begin lifting the miners out one by one, with the first man being brought to safety as soon as Wednesday. So far, the men seem to be in good physical health, but more tests will be done to determine their health when they reach the surface.
Other such catastrophes have been spread throughout the news in the past. One such rescue mission occurred in Hollywood, Florida, earlier this week when two water tower workers were trapped inside the tower after a scaffolding collapsed. The men, who were sandblasting rust off the inside of the tower, fell around 50 feet when the scaffolding collapsed and were pulled to safety after hours of intense rescue efforts. They were taken to the local hospital to be treated for their injuries.
Another such rescue occurred in Xiangning, China, when a mine flooded, trapping over 100 workers behind a wall of water. Workers spent hours freeing 115 of the workers from the mine who had been trapped there for eight days. The other workers who remained trapped in the mine numbered around 38, and, of those 38 who were unaccounted for at the time of the rescue, several were discovered dead and still others were never recovered.
Yet another catastrophe that had an even sadder outcome than the mine flood in China is that of three workers who were trapped in an Illinois grain bin. The teens were not wearing the proper safety equipment, and they were unable to escape when they fell into the grain bin. Two of the three workers were pronounced dead on the scene when rescue workers who had spent hours trying to drain the bin in an effort to save them pulled them from the bin. 14-year-old Wyatt Whitebread and 19-year-old Alejandro Pacas were pronounced dead around 10 p.m. when workers were finally able to get them out of the bin. The third worker, William Piper, 20, was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries.
While catastrophe isn’t all that common in the work place, high-risk jobs do come with dangers. These workers and many others are just examples of how important it is to abide safety regulations, keep an open mind and upbeat attitude if something does happen, and hope that each day when you go into work, everything will turn out alright.
Patrick Bodenham,Countdown to Freedom Begins for Chilean Miners, www.independent.co.uk
Post-Newsweek Stations, 2 Injured Workers Pulled From Hollywood Water Tower, www.justnews.com
Gillian Wong, China Mine Flood: Dozens Rescued After 179 Hours in Flooded Chinease Mine, www.huffingtonpost.com
Associated Press, 2 Teen Workers Trapped Inside Grain Bin Die, www.cbsnews.com