Rescue operation complete for Chilean miners - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Rescue operation complete for Chilean miners

San Jose Mine, Chile San Jose Mine, Chile

SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (WKOW) -- The last rescuer was hoisted back to surface in Chile, leaving behind a wrecked and empty mine.

A few hours earlier, crews pulled up the last of 33 miners who were trapped for 69 days.


SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) -- The last of the Chilean miners has been raised from deep beneath the earth. All 33 men have now been delivered from the longest underground entrapment in history.

The foreman who held the group together when they were feared lost was the last man out. Luis Alberto Urzua was hoisted to safety in a joyous climax to a flawless rescue that captivated the world

The intricately planned rescue that ended late Wednesday moved with remarkable speed -- and flawless execution -- hauling up miner after miner in a cramped cage through a narrow hole drilled through 2,000 feet of rock.

The 33 men spent more than 69 days trapped in the lower reaches of the mine after a huge collapse of rock blocked the way out on Aug. 5.


SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) -- Mine officials in Chile believe they might be able to free the all of the 33 miners by midnight.

The rescue is running ahead of schedule with more than three-quarters of the miners now above ground, after being trapped for almost two and a half months.

The country's health minister says some of miners probably will be able to leave the hospital tomorrow -- that's earlier than expected. But he says many are anxious and have been unable to sleep. One is being treated for pneumonia and two need dental work.

President Barack Obama says the resolve of Chilean people is inspirational and the rescue has captivated the world.

Joyous reaction is pouring out across Twitter and Facebook, as viewers worldwide watch the story unfold in real time.


SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (CNN) -- CNN is reporting a 25th miner is now out, as of about 4:30 p.m.


SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) -- Two-thirds of Chile's trapped miners are now up and out of their half-mile-deep dungeon as the rescue operation gains speed.

No. 22 came up into the desert sun more than 17 hours after the rescue capsule dubbed "Phoenix" extracted the first miner.

He is Samuel Avalos, a 43-year-old man who had been working as a street vender before he found work at the mine to earn more money.


SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) -- More than half of Chile's trapped miners are now up and out of their half-mile-deep dungeon.

No. 17 came up into the desert sun more than 13 hours after the rescue capsule dubbed "Phoenix" extracted the first miner.

He is Omar Reygadas, a 56-year-old widower who worked as an electrician and led one of three groups down below after the 33 men divided their duties to keep organized.

He has six children, 14 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. He's spent three decades working the mines -- and this is the third time he's been trapped underground.


SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) -- The rescue of the Chilean miners has been proceeding smoothly, and somewhat faster than expected.

By midmorning 13 men had been extracted in roughly 10 hours, with some emerging as quickly as 39 minutes apart.

They've been riding up the more than 2,000 foot escape shaft in a special capsule. The 28-inch-diameter shaft has some curves, but Chile's health minister says the capsule has not been rotating as much as officials had expected as it moves through them. That's allowed the trip to go faster.

After 69 days, the miners have survived being trapped underground longer than anyone on record. Their vital signs are being closely monitored as they make the journey up the shaft. They've been given a high-calorie liquid diet donated by NASA that's designed to prevent nausea from any rotation of the capsule.

At the current pace, all 33 miners should be out before sunrise tomorrow.


SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) -- Florencio Avalos, the first of 33 miners to be rescued, has surfaced after 69 days underground.

He stepped out of a rescue capsule amid sobs from his young son and received a bracing bear hug from Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

Avalos smiled widely as he hugged rescuers, then Pinera, as his wife, two sons and father looked on. His 7-year-old son Bairo sobbed, as did Chile's first lady, Cecilia Morel. Then Avalos was escorted into a medical triage center for the first of a battery of tests.

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