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Chile Miners

August 23, 2010 by staff 

Chile Miners, Chilean President greeted euphorically the note, written on the inside of a mine collapsed, that his country waited 17 days of agony in sight: “All 33 of us are very well in the shelter,” one of the trapped miners wrote in red.

Authorities and relatives of the miners embraced, climbed a nearby hill, planted 33 flags and sang the national anthem after a probe sent about 2257 feet (688 meters) deep in the mine returned with the note. “Today, Chile is crying with excitement and joy,” said President Sebastián Piñera.

When many began to lose hope, the scene on the land became a celebration of Sunday night, with a barbecue for the families of the miners, itinerant musicians, candles and Chilean flags by the arid landscape seem festive.

The plight of the miners may have just begun: Rescuers say it could take four months – until the Christmas season – to get them out.

The men have been trapped underground since all but rescued miners in recent history. Last year, three miners survived 25 days trapped in a flooded mine in southern China, and two miners in northeastern China were rescued after 23 days in 1983. Few other rescues have taken more than two weeks.

survival of the miners after 17 days is very unusual, but now they’ve gone so far that should arise OK, a mine of U.S. leaders security expert told The Associated Press.

“The health risks in a copper and gold mine are pretty small if you have air, food and water,” said Davitt McAteer, who was assistant secretary of mine safety and health at the U.S. Department of Labor. UU. under President Bill Clinton.

For now, the news that the men survived even a tunnel collapse on August 5 is eclipsed all other details.

A video camera lowered through the hole of the probe showed some of the miners, bare-chested in the heat underground, waving happily. But they were unable to establish contact hearing, Piñera told reporters at the scene.

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The rescued miners Chile: 33 found alive after being trapped underground for 17 days

MAURICIO CUEVAS | 08/22/10 23:47 | AP
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Copiapo, Chile – Chilean President greeted euphoric note, written on the inside of a mine collapsed, that his country spent 17 agonizing days to see: “All 33 of us are very well in the shelter,” a of the trapped miners wrote in red letters.

Authorities and relatives of the miners embraced, climbed a nearby hill, planted 33 flags and sang the national anthem after a probe sent about 2257 feet (688 meters) deep in the mine returned with the note. “Today, Chile is crying with excitement and joy,” said President Sebastián Piñera.

When many began to lose hope, the scene on the land became a celebration of Sunday night, with a barbecue for the families of the miners, itinerant musicians, candles and Chilean flags by the arid landscape seem festive.

The plight of the miners may have just begun: Rescuers say it could take four months – until the Christmas season – to get them out.

The men have been trapped underground since all but rescued miners in recent history. Last year, three miners survived 25 days trapped in a flooded mine in southern China, and two miners in northeastern China were rescued after 23 days in 1983. Few other rescues have taken more than two weeks.

survival of the miners after 17 days is very unusual, but now they’ve gone so far that should arise OK, a mine of U.S. leaders security expert told The Associated Press.

“The health risks in a copper and gold mine are pretty small if you have air, food and water,” said Davitt McAteer, who was assistant secretary of mine safety and health at the U.S. Department of Labor. UU. under President Bill Clinton.

For now, the news that the men survived even a tunnel collapse on August 5 is eclipsed all other details.

A video camera lowered through the hole of the probe showed some of the miners, bare-chested in the heat underground, waving happily. But they were unable to establish contact hearing, Piñera told reporters at the scene.
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“I saw eight or nine of them. They were waving their hands. They approached the camera and we could see his eyes, his joy,” said Piñera.

Word of the survival of the miners was a spate of good news in a country still rebuilding a 8.8 magnitude earthquake on 27 February and its resulting tsunami, which together killed at least 521 people and left 200,000 homeless.

Hundreds gathered, cheering and waving flags in the Plaza Italia in the capital, where traditionally celebrate the victories Chilean nationals. Throughout the great length of Chile, people were glued to television and computer screens as the drama developed in live broadcasts of the mine at a distance.

“I’m fine, thank God. I hope to leave soon,” wrote one of the trapped miners, Mario Gomez. “Patience and faith. God is great and the help of my God is going to let mine out of this alive.”

Gomez, 63, seemed to be aware that it will take long for rescuers to reach him and his fellow miners. “Even if we have to wait months to communicate. … I want to tell everyone that I am well and probably will be fine,” he said.

mine officials and relatives of the workers expected the men came to a house inside the mine tunnel collapsed when the San Jose gold and copper mine about 530 miles (850 kilometers) north of the capital, Santiago. But he said the emergency shelter air and food supplies will only last 48 hours.

Rescuers drilled several times in an effort to reach the shelter, but not seven times, but blamed the mistakes on the maps of the mine. According to the note of Gomez, at least some of these probes were close enough to hear the trapped miners.

Hopes rose after the eighth attempt early Sunday when they heard of hammering and sent a probe. The miners put their two notes in a plastic bag and tied it to the end of the probe. Piñera was held triumphantly to the crowd on the ground and read the two notes to the crowd on the ground.

Liliana Ramirez could not believe it when the Minister of Mining of Chile said that her husband had sent a note to his Lila “Honey.”

“I know my husband is strong, and in 63 years, is the most experienced mining that could lead to their coworkers,” he said. “But miners (for him).”

Gomez wrote that the miners used by light vehicles and a backhoe to dig a canal to retrieve groundwater.

The rescuers dug open the mining is not large enough to carry them out. Rescue equipment brought from outside the country met on Sunday to dig a tunnel 27 inches (68 centimeters) in diameter through which the miners eventually reaches the surface.

The pre-punched hole is used to download small capsules containing food, water and oxygen, if necessary, and sound and video equipment to allow miners to communicate better with their loved ones and rescuers.

This spring 115 Chinese miners were rescued after being trapped for more than a week, when workers digging tunnels broke into an abandoned water-filled pit. The accident killed 38 miners.

months after the tragedy of Chile earthquake shares some parallels with the 2002 Quecreek Mine accident, in which nine miners were trapped in a tunnel flooded Pennsylvania about 15 miles from where one of the hijacked planes on Sept. 11 crashed about 10 months earlier. Americans applauded when nine miners were rescued three days later.

Hundreds of workers are using equipment from the United States and Australia in the rescue of Chile.

Chile is the world’s largest producer of copper and a leading gold producer and has some of the mining operations of the world’s most advanced. However, both the company that owns the mine, San Esteban, and the National Society of Mining and Geology of service have been criticized for allegedly not complying with regulations. In 2007, a mine explosion in San Jose killed three workers.

Among his expressions of faith and love for his family, Gomez criticized his employer in the notice that the President read aloud to the world, saying that “this company needs to modernize.”

McAteer, U.S. mine security expert, said he has been in other mines in the same part of Chile and said the rescue effort – drilling rigs first narrow, then wider shaft – sounds like “the most logical thing to do.”

Perhaps the biggest threat to miners who now is the stress of being trapped underground for a long period of time.

“There is a psychological pattern that we have not seen,” said McAteer. However, “they have established communication with the kids, there are people who can talk through that.”

Given sophisticated drilling techniques and equipment, McAteer predicted that the miners can get out more quickly than four months.

“Two thousand five hundred feet is not a terrible, terrible big hole to drill,” he said. “That’s a long period of time. We should be able to leave in a period of weeks, not months.”

___

Federico AP reporters in Santiago, Chile Quilodrán, Peter Orsi in Mexico City and Michael Warren in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributed to this report.

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