Today on October 13, 2010 the last of the 33 trapped Chilean miners was rescued 2,000 feet below the surface, 17 days after the collapse of the Codelco San Jose gold and copper mine.
Luis Urzua, was the last miner rescued, and considered the leader of the group. Urzua was greeted by family and Colombian President Sebastian Pinera labeling him an inspiration to the world. President Barack Obama said the rescue had “inspired the world.”
On the evening of October 12 the delicate rescue operation began as the first miner was rescued through a narrow shaft in a 13-foot-tall rescue capsuled dubbed “Phoenix” that was painted the colors of the Colombian flag. Each of the 33 rescues took approximately 15 minutes before a transfixed global audience.
The ordeal for the 33 men began on August 5, 2010 when the mine collapsed. It took 17 heart-wrenching days to determine if the men were dead or alive. For those 17 days the man kept their hopes up my singing songs and telling tales while living on cans of tuna. These Colombian heroes lived entombed under 700,000 tons of rock.
The miners survived longer than anyone else trapped underground in recorded history – 69 days and 8 hours.
In 2015, five years after the rescue, “The 33” movie premiered starring Antonio Banderas. Many of the 33 Chilean miners attended the movie premiere in Rome and were blessed by Pope Francis. The photo seen here was one of the last of the group together.
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