by Eman

I’m watching the Chilean miners rescue right now and cheering along with the rescue crew. They’re brave people, both miners and rescuers. It’s a miracle that the rescue attempt is working and that everyone is healthy and unharmed after 2 months under the ground! All I have to say is YAY for Chile!

I initially opened up this page so I could complain about how it takes me 45 minutes to drive to class thanks to the horrible, horrible, absolutely deplorable roads but I’ll leave that for some other time, let’s not take away Chile’s thunder.


[edit] I realized many of you don’t know the details of how they got there or how they survived, so allow me to paste the wikipedia article here (god bless wiki):

The collapse occurred on 5 August 2010. The rescue efforts started on 6 August. The Oficina Nacional de Emergencias del Ministerio del Interior reported that day the names of the 33 miners trapped in the mine, including Franklin Lobos Ramírez, a retired Chilean footballer. One of the miners is Bolivian while the others are of Chilean nationality.
When the collapse occurred, there were two groups of miners. A dust cloud occurred during the collapse, blinding many miners for six hours and causing lingering eye irritation and burning. A first group of miners were near or at the entrance of the mine and escaped immediately without incident. The main group of 33 miners was deep inside the mine and included local workers and some subcontracted employees of a different company, who would not normally have been with them.
The shift supervisor of the trapped miners, Luis Urzúa, recognizing the gravity of the situation and the difficulty of any rescue attempt, if a rescue was even possible, gathered his men in a secure room called a “refuge” and organized the men and meager resources for a long term survival situation. Experienced miners were sent out to assess the situation, men with important skills were tasked with key roles and numerous other measures were taken to ensure the survival of the men during a long-term entrapment.
On 22 August, another probe reached a ramp, at 688 meters underground, about 20 meters from a shelter where the miners were expected to have taken refuge.The miners had listened to the drills approaching for days and had prepared pre-written notes to their rescuers on the surface as well as making sure they had adhesive tape to secure the prepared notes to the drill once its tip poked into their space. The notes surprised the rescuers when they pulled the drill bit out and discovered the letters; the miners having survived longer than anyone had expected.
On 23 August voice contact was made with the miners. Doctors reported that they already have been provided with a 5% glucose solution and a drug to prevent stomach ulcers resulting from food deprivation.Material was sent down in 5-foot-long (1.5 m) blue plastic capsules nicknamed palomas, taking an hour to reach the miners. In addition to high-energy glucose gels, rehydration tablets, and medicine, rescuers also sent down oxygen after the miners reported there was not enough air. Delivery of solid food began a few days later. Two other boreholes were completed—one for enriched oxygen, the second for video conferences to allow daily chats with family members. Relatives were also permitted to write letters, but were asked to keep them optimistic.
Out of concern for the miners’ mental health, rescuers hesitated to tell the miners that according to the conservative rescue plan, the rescue may take months, with an eventual extraction date close to Christmas. The miners who had been trapped since August would miss many holidays, including the Chilean Bicentennial Celebration and crucial soccer games in addition to their personal anniversaries. The miners were fully informed however, on 25 August the exact prognosis for their rescue and the complexity of the plans to get them out. The mining minister reported that the men took the news well.
Rescue workers and consultants described the miners as a very disciplined group. Psychiatrists and doctors worked with the rescue effort to ensure the miners kept busy and mentally focused. Fluorescent lights with timers were sent down to keep the men on a normal schedule by imitating day and night. The miners affirmed their capability to participate in rescue efforts, saying “There are a large number of professionals who are going to help in the rescue efforts from down here.” Psychologists believe the miners having a role in their own destiny is important for maintaining motivation and optimism. They divided themselves into three groups, one being responsible for the palomas, a second in charge of security and preventing further rock falls, and a third focusing on health. Luis Urzúa became the overall leader and the oldest miner, Mario Gómez, was chosen for spiritual guidance. Psychiatrists have supported that this hierarchical structure that preserves order and routine within the group of trapped miners is crucial to their mental health.

(Segovia – number 15 – is out!)