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Tags: chile rescue miners

Chile Rejoices As Miners Reach Surface

Wednesday, 13 October 2010 07:03 AM EDT

With anxious anticipation increasingly yielding to exuberant celebration, more than a third of the haggard men trapped under a half-mile of rock for more than two months have emerged to the arms of their families and an electrified nation, The New York Times reports.

The second miner to reach the surface, Mario Sepúlveda, left the rescue capsule in a kind of victory dance, hugging family members and officials. He embraced the Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera, three times and presented people with gifts: rocks from the mine. He punched fists with the crowd and led a cheer: “Chi, Chi, Chi, le, le, le,” they shouted. “Miners of Chile!” The refrain echoed as subsequent miners reached the surface.

“I’ve been near God, but I’ve also been near the devil,” Mr. Sepúlveda said through a translator. “God won.”

The 12th miner — Edison Peña, 34, known for running miles in the mine tunnels every day — stepped from the escape capsule to rapturous cheers and the embrace of his girlfriend, and then another from Mr. Piñera.

“Thank God we’re alive,” Mr. Peña said. “I know now why we’re alive.”

As with the other men, Mr. Peña was strapped to a stretcher for the few paces to the makeshift hospital where the miners are being assessed.

But some heartbreak may still lie ahead. After the first 10 men were pulled up, Health Minister Jaime Mañalich said the next men to be raised would include those in a more “precarious” health condition.

He also said that all 33 miners might be lifted from the mine in less time than the original forecast of two days. The rescue capsule’s roundtrips were taking about an hour.

Read the entire story at nytimes.com

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

chile rescue miners
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 07:03 AM
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