Surfacing miners were greeted with cheers and hugs, while thousands of family members and well-wishers waited excitedly near the mine site for the next man to surface.
The 33 men who were trapped for 69 days in a mine in Chile have all been rescued safely. The operation was completed a full day ahead of the original 48 hour estimates, with all the miners rescued in about 22 hours. The rescue operation involved putting each man in a 1 ton, rocket shaped device called the Phoenix 2, which was only 6 feet 4 inches long and 22 inches wide. The Phoenix 2 was lowered into the mine on a wheel and pulley system.
“Louis Urzua, 54, took his first breath of fresh air for 69 days, bringing a joyous ending to an ordeal that has riveted the world. He ascended smoothly through 2,000 feet of rock, completing a 22-and-a-half-hour rescue operation that unfolded with remarkable speed and flawless execution. Mr Urzua, who was the foreman of the miners, had volunteered to be the last one up. Like the captain of a ship he refused to leave until he knew all his men were safe,” according to the Telegraph UK.
Despite their ordeal, the rescued miners were in remarkably good physical condition. Their eyes will have to be shielded for a few days so they can have time to adjust to sunlight at the surface. However, no one was complaining about wearing sunglasses. It was a small inconvenience in exchange for surviving more than 2 months trapped underground, and finally finding freedom from the dark collapsed mine.
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