People around the world held their breath. It's a remarkable story.
On August 5th, thirty-three men became trapped in a gold and copper mine in San Jose, Chile. The mine caved in, leaving them all trapped.
For an incredible sixty-nine days, they've stayed alive, and relatively sane. Their eyes became accustomed to the darkness, and somehow they've had oxygen to breathe. They were buried 622 metres below ground.
One man is reported to have kept his vitality by running laps. A typographer spent time mapping the area that they were trapped in.
These are the names and ages of the men, courtesy of CNN.com:
Alex Vega Salazar, 31
Ariel Ticona Yanez, 29
Carlos Andres Bugueno Alfaro, 27
Carlos Mamani Solis, 23
Carlos Barrios Conteeras, 27
Claudio Acuna Cortes, 34
Carlos David Yanez Lagos, 34
Daniel Esteban Herrera Campos, 27
Darios Antonio Segovia Rojas, 48
Edison Fernando Bena Villaroel, 34
Esteban Alfonso Rojas Carrizo, 44
Florencio Antonio Avalos Silva, 31
Franklin Lobos Ramirez, 53
Jorge Hernan Galleguillos Orellana, 56
Jose Henriquez Gonzalez, 54
Jose Ojeda VidalJuan Carlos Aguilar Gaete, 49
Juan Illanes Palma, 52
Jimmy Sanchez Lagues, 19
Luis Alberto Urzua Iribarren, 54
Matio Nicolus Gomez Heredia, 63
Mario Sepulveda Espinace, 40
Omar Alejandro Reygadas Rojas, 56
Osman Isidro Araya Araya, 30
Pablo Amadeos Rojas Villacorta, 45
Pedro Cortez Contreras, 25
Raul Enriquez Bustos Ibanez, 40
Renan Anselmo Avalos Silva, 29
Richard Reinald Villarroel Godoy, 27
Samuel Dionisio Avalos Acuna, 43
Victor Antonio Segovia Rojas, 48
Victor Zamora Bugueno, 33
Yonni Barrios Rojas, 50
The rescue started today, Wednesday, October 13th. Just before being rescued, the men were sent oxygen masks and dark glasses for their protection. It will take their eyes a long while to get used to light again. They are being sent to hospital for medical supervision, until doctors can be sure of their health.
It's absolutely amazing how the men all stayed alive and survived. It's an inspiration to people all around the world.
Hopefully, mining companies in Chile and elsewhere can learn better safety techniques and procedures. I also hope that all the men are compensated until they feel ready to work again or start new job training.