Bienvenido de nuevo a la
superficie de la tierra!
(Welcome back to 'surface' earth!)
On a regular news day it is often filled with plane crashes, terror threats, oil spills, and toxic leaks. Today the TV, radio and Web news diet anything but... it was joyous! All day there were the pictures of the brave, dignified miners who had been trapped beneath the ground for more than two months being brought to the surface, to breathe fresh air and to hug their loved-ones.
These were hugs felt around the world.
|photo credit AP source Chilean flags dot the mine site|
One by one, the miners trapped for 69 days in a dungeon that could have been their tomb climbed into a rescue capsule and made a smooth ascent to the surface on Wednesday 10-13-2010, greeted by the embraces of loved ones, cheered by joyous Chileans and watched by a captivated world.
The stress and anxiety that had accompanied the careful final days of preparation broke just after midnight, 12:11 a.m., when the first of the most tenacious of the men, Florencio Avalos, emerged from the missile-like capsule and smiled proudly after his half-mile journey to fresh air.
photo credit AP source
Florencio Avalos hugs his loved one after his long ordeal
The choice of best health and condition was chosen ahead of time to double check that the capsule and safety equipment all worked well. The miners were hooked up to heart monitors, leg compression stockings and oxygen masks to monitor vital health signs during the ascent and wore dark sunglasses to protect their eyes after 69 days of no sunlight. Panic attacks during the ascent, they said, were the biggest concern. The miners were not sedated, they needed to be alert in case something went awry. Pre-rescue the miners were given a high-calorie liquid diet donated by NASA (who also helped in designing the rescue chamber-capsule), designed to prevent nausea from any rotation of the capsule as it travels through curves in the 28-inch-diameter escape hole.They took aspirin and wore the compression socks to prevent blood clotting, and donned sweaters for the change in climate from about 90 degrees underground to near freezing on the surface after nightfall.
photo credit Hugo Infante AP
O. Araya tenderly hugs his wife
Florencio Avalos, the 31-year-old second-in-command of the miners, was chosen to be first out because he was in the best condition. When the capsule came out of the manhole-sized opening, Avalos stepped out as bystanders cheered, clapped and broke into a chant of the country's name
— "Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!"
photo credit AFP-Getty
large flag of Chile by rescue site
Screams of Joy!
A euphoric Mario Sepúlveda had been screaming during his ascent, but everything was fine. Sepúlveda is now a free man, the second miner to emerge in Chile.
And he wasn't screaming alone, at least not after he came out of the hole. Sepúlveda led loved ones and rescuers in Chile's national cheer.
Mario, perhaps the ham of the group, didn't come up the shaft alone -- he brought some souvenirs! The comedic miner pulled out rocks wrapped in what appeared to be tin foil out from a satchel and started handing them to people all around. He offered one to the Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, who laughed and offered a bear hug instead.
Photo credit Hugo Infante_AP
Mario Sepúlveda with 1st lady Cecilia Morel
photo credit AFP
Mario Sepúlveda shows the thumbs-up at hospital station
The rescued miners will be held for a short time in observation at a hospital to monitor them for any signs of health problems they may have now or be inclined to in the future.
photo credit Reuters
E. Rojas embraces his wife after the joyous rescue
Rescate de éxito! Felicidades Chile!
VIVAN LOS 33 MINEROS !!
until next time ...