Added by James Morley on October 13, 2010
The first four of the 33 miners who have been trapped for over two months in a Chilean mine have been rescued on early Wednesday morning while the others are waiting to see the light of day in the hours or days to come.
The miners were brought to the surface with a special capsule made by NASA called The Phoenix. One of the miners has already sworn that he would not return to the mines ever again as the fourth rescued miner reached the surface only minutes after 2.00AM EST on Wednesday, October 13.
Florencio Avalos, a 31-year-old Chilean miner, was the first one to be rescued after a rescuer was sent down into the mine to explain how the capsule works and assist the miners from down below to come up.
Initially experts stated that the capsule would take from 20 to 25 minutes to go down the tube, while estimations for it coming back up through 620 meters of rock would last about 10-15 minutes. However, up until now rescuing each miner took even less than it was estimated and no issues arose.
The second miner that came up to the surface brought gifts for the VIP’s around the mine.
Although the space in the capsule was extremely tight, Mario Sepulveda who celebrated his 40th birthday under the Earth’s surface brought up a bag with souvenirs from the mine in which he together with other 32 miners spent the last 68 days of their lives.