As the eleventh miner from Chile hugs his brother at 8:34am EST, it’s all I can do to hold back my tears. I have been covering the Chilean mine collapse since the actual collapse happened.
It is now 70 days later since the gold and copper mine collapsed on August 5th. Thirty-three miners have been trapped 2300 feet underground, and they have been the some of the bravest, most resilient men known to the world.
As the “Fenix” capsule is being prepared to descend yet again down into the San Jose mine to retrieve one of the twenty-two miners left, I what will happen once this is all over. Some of them men have pledged loyalty to the mining community and are ready to continue their work. Others want to find new ventures. But how does all of this play in their minds. Psychologically, what toll will it take on their lives? (Plenty of economic concerns could also be problematic.)
As of now, most of the miners who have been retrieved have been checked at a field hospital at the mine location, and some have been taken to an actual hospital to further their care. Most of the worry is their eyes, so they are given sunglasses as they emerge from the earth. Other problems could be dehydration and malnutrition.
Each rescue is amazing in itself since each miner, each man has his own story, his own family, his own life to share. I am truly, truly in awe of the rescuers and these brave men. And that renders me speechless – for a bit.
To learn their names and who they are: