The first Chilean miner, trapped in the San Jose mine for 69 days, has been raised to the surface in the small tube rigged up for the purpose. At about 11:00 p.m. the first miner stepped from the tube in to the arms of his tearful family. Over the next day and a half, the other miners hope to make the short, suffocating journey in the close, dark tube, 2,000 feet up the tunnel to the surface.
First a rescue worker, who intended to brief the men in the mine as to what to do and what to expect, went down in the tube. Acting as a guinea pig, he experienced the ride down. The miners greeted him joyfully, and one of them suited up to take the ride to the surface. The ride took roughly 15 minutes and then the young miner stepped out, to cheers from all and tears from his young son. After lots of hugs, he reluctantly laid down on a stretcher and was taken to be evaluated.
There were many things that had to be provided for before the miners could be safely brought up. They’ve been on a special liquid diet to slim down and insure they would fit in the narrow tube and to control nausea while being lifted. Heat in the mine versus cold at the surface had to be addressed, as well as the shock of natural light. The rescue is beginning at night, which helps, but will take a day and a half, if all goes well, to retrieve all the brave, patient miners. The rescuers want to be sure the mechanism for lifting the miners doesn’t overheat, jam, or loosen any rock, that could fall and block the ascent of the rescue tube.
A paramedic climbed in the narrow tube next, and after a bit of trouble, the tube was lowered down again. The healthiest miners are being brought up first, to give intel on the others, but the paramedic will be able to to assess the remaining, sicker ones. There was some concern about the mental health of men trapped so long, but the only arguments seem to be caused by everyone wanting the other guys to get to go first. The shift foreman finally prevailed to be the last to be lifted. Claustrophobia in the tube was another concern, but as long as these men have been patiently waiting in the dark bowels of the mine, I would think claustrophobia would be the last thing they’d experience as they are lifted to safety and loved ones.
These are some very brave men, and the families waiting at the surface are impressive as well. There is a lot of praying and singing going on, which sheds some light on why these people are so calm and brave. All of us can add our prayers to theirs and ask for God’s blessing on the rescue efforts that are currently underway.
Source: Wink News Live