San Francisco (Obama.net)- After nearly a day of rescue efforts, only two men remain underground. In the slow, but effective process, 31 men have already been safely brought up to the surface in Chile after over two months.
Before the mission started, Sebastian Pinera, the President of Chile, arrived at the mine to speak as the rescue team was making the final preparations. The President said, “Today’s the end of a long journey. This story started as a possible tragedy and we hope it ends as a blessing.”
After tests were run to make sure the rescue capsule was working properly, the first man to come out of the mine was Florencio Avalos. He would go up 2,300 feet of rock wearing special goggles, an oxygen mask, and new clothes while making his 15 minutes ascent. His rescue came at 11:11 pm Eastern Standard Time, marking the beginning of what would become a successful mission.
He was followed by Mario Sepulveda, Carlos Mamani, and Juan Illanes.
Jorge Galleguilo was not only welcomed to the surface by the Chilean President, but also the President of his native Bolivia, Evo Morales.
Workers went down first to assess the situation in the mine and to assist the miners in getting into the capsule and going back to the surface.
As the entire situation was being recorded and broadcast on news sites and the Internet across the world, the rescue process began.
The process of rescue would include an immediate medical examination followed by a family meeting for the miners. Then the miners would individually be taken to a nearby hospital via helicopter.
The men came out one by one and were each embraced by the crowd that gathered. The process started slow as for the first eight hours only one man was rescued per hour.
The mission was on schedule as it was predicted to start late on Tuesday and run deep into Wednesday.
One by one the men were rescued. As of 8:59 Eastern Standard Time, 31 men had been brought to the surface. The last two men are more than likely going to be rescued by the end of the night.
As the world watched the 33 men plead for their lives for 68 days, the world is now watching these same men rise from below ground and thank the world for giving them the help that they desperately needed.
At the end of the day, President Pinera was correct in his assessment that this situation did start out as a tragedy, but it is in fact now turning into a blessing.