“I was with God, and I was with the devil,” said Mario Sepulveda Espina, the second miner to be pulled to safety from the San Jose gold and copper mine in Chile today. Eighteen of the 33 men trapped for 69 days deep below the surface have now been freed in a rescue effort attended by family, friends, and an estimated 1,500 journalists. The first rescue occurred late Tuesday evening when Florencio Avalos, 31, was hoisted through the rescue shaft inside the 190-by-54 centimetre metal cage, a journey that took approximately 16 minutes. The group, who has survived more time trapped underground than anyone on record, were prepared for the rescue by swallowing high-protein liquids donated by NASA designed to prevent vomiting as the capsule rotates. They were also given sweaters to accommodate for the shift in temperature—from about 30 C underground to near freezing on the surface at night—and sunglasses to allow their eyes to adjust to the light. The miners will undergo medical checks in Copiapo before being released to their families.
Rescued Chilean miners appear healthy
As rescue operations continue, miners and their families are reunited