The group of Chilean miners have been trapped inside a collapsed gold mine for 17 days, before the rescue probe that drilled down 2,257ft to the bottom of the San Jose mine reached them.
The miners sent up a note informing that they were alive. An emotional Chilean President Sebastian Pinera held up the note for the media and announced to the country that the miners were still alive.
While an air of joy spread across the nation, the grim side of the news emerged as it was learned that the process of drilling an escape route would take up an estimated four months.
Chief engineer in charge of the rescue operation, Andres Sougarret said that a larger and more powerful drill would be needed to dig the hole at the gold and copper mine near the city of Copiapo.
"A shaft 66cm (26 inches) in diameter will take at least 120 days," he is quoted as saying in a BBC report.
The trapped miners will receive food, hydration gels and other necessities through narrow plastic tubes. They will also be given equipment such as cameras and microphone so that they can communicate with relatives.