33 Chilean Miners Rescued After Being Trapped For 68 Days
Most of theChilean miners have ascended to freedom from the underground chamber where they've been entombed for 10 weeks, the longest time ever for a successful rescue.
For full coverage of the miners' rescue, stay tuned
to ABC News. Watch "World News" at 6:30 p.m. ET,
then "A Special Edition of 20/20: Miracle at the
Mine," anchored by Diane Sawyer at 10 p.m. ET,
and a special edition of "Nightline" at 11:35 p.m.
The painstaking extractions continued overnight
and throughout today. The well-oiled operation
picked up speed throughout the day, with miners
surfacing from the 28-inch-diameter hole nearly
every half hour.
After being examined at a triage unit on site,
miners were transported via helicopter to a
hospital in the nearby city of Copiapo.
The first miner to see the sky emerged near midnight Eastern Standard Time, slick wraparound glasses protecting eyes long accustomed to the lack of light beneath the surface. His elementary-school-aged child cried openly, watched on televisions around the world. Florencio Ávalos was the first of 33 Chilean miners to reach the surface, the first to use the rescue shuttle dubbed the Phoenix, which took him the half-mile from middle-Earth to fresh air after 68 days trapped in a collapsed mine. President Sebastián Piñera was among the first to embrace Ávalos.
Telemundo's on-screen graphic for the rescue summed up a global feeling: "Milagro en la mina" -- Miracle in the Mine. "The first miner is now with us," Piñera said in a live press conference. "The first miner has been rescued, in a manner which really does make every Chilean proud."