Photo: Luis Urzua, the last miner to be rescued, is greeted by Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, right, on reaching the surface
With the last miner having been rescued, the 33 miners are preparing for the next phase of their lives.
In less than 24 hours all the miners had made it to the surface looking healthy and in great spirits. The miners were all extremely grateful to those who had helped rescue them.
When 54-year-old foreman Luis Urzua emerged at 9:55 p.m. from the 28-inch-diameter hole, it had been 69 days since the miners were trapped, 52 days since they were able to declare to the world that they were still alive.
“You brought your shift out like a good captain,” Chilean President Sebastian Pinera told Urzua, beaming as he gripped the arms of the burly miner who had organized his men for survival during the first crucial hours after they were trapped.
“I’m proud to be Chilean and to live here,” said Luis Urza, the mining foreman and the last to get out.
Chile’s health minister does report that one miner is being treated for pneumonia and two will require dental surgery but generally all were healthier than expected.