First Chile miner emerges, rescue continues

Written by: Samyuktha
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San Jose, Oct 13: One of the most ambitious and complex rescue operations as well an awe-inspiring tale of survival culminated on Tuesday, Oct 12 night (Local Time) as the first of 33 miners trapped in Chile's San Jose Gold and Copper miner reached the surface.

The first miner to be rescued has been identified as Florencio Avalos. The miner was greeted with loud cheers and shouts of "Viva Chile" as he emerged from the rescue shaft, rightly named Phoenix.

Immediately after the first miner was hoisted to freedom, an emotional Chile President, Sebastian Pinera, tweeted, "The excitement! The joy! The proudness to be Chilean! And the gratefulness to God!"

The action began at 23:29 (Local Time) when rescue worker, Manuel Gonzalez, descended down the escape tunnel drilled over the past two months.

The miners have been trapped underground for 69 days. The ordeal began on Aug 5, 2010, when the San Jose copper-gold mine, near Copiapó, collapsed leaving 33 miners trapped 2,000 feet underground.

The miners were found seventeen days later, following which a long and tricky rescue operations began.

Follow the rescue with tweets of Andre Sougarret, the head of the rescue operation.

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