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Chilean Mine Rescue

Flag of Chile

From the CBC because they still know how to report up North: Chilean miners reach surface

The painstaking but time-consuming process of bringing of 33 Chilean miners to the surface after 69 days underground began late Tuesday with the first being rescued at 11:11 p.m. ET.

Florencio Avalos, 31, stepped out of the metal rescue capsule moments later as the crowd cheered and horns blew. He was greeted by his wife, two sons and father. His son, Bairon, 7, sobbed.

Avalos hugged his rescuers and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera before being escorted into a medical triage centre set up on site.

Avalos was raised more than 600 metres through a rescue shaft while strapped into a 190-by-54-centimetre capsule. His journey began at 10:55 p.m. ET and took just 16 minutes.

Before his rescue, crews ran tests by lowering an empty capsule down the shaft and raising it before sending it back down with a rescue worker inside to help prepare the miners for their trip to the surface.

An impressive, well planned, well executed operation by Chile. They have back-ups for all of the necessary equipment, consulted with people around the world, and covered all of the possibilities they could imagine. It will take time to get everyone up, but they are ready to do it.

Update: 14 of 33 up so far at 10AM CDT 10/13. The CBC is updating their story at the link.

Update 2: Chile mine rescue: all 33 raised to safety at 7:55PM CDT.


1 paintedjaguar { 10.13.10 at 4:02 am }

I happened to tune in on some ABC coverage of this — managed to watch about ten minutes before switching off in disgust. The two smug (American) assholes doing on-the-spot commentary for ABC were amazed by the professionalism shown by the Chileans. No, they weren’t even talking about the rescue per se, they were discussing the local handling of media coverage. You know, the important stuff. Because it’s all about them. For instance, they couldn’t get their little heads around the fact that scheduled press announcements actually occured at the appointed time! Incredible that those benighted S. American peasants could pull off such a feat!

After a bit of such mutual masturbation, they proceeded to question an English-speaking local about the future prospects of the rescued miners. He opined that after the requisite medical exams and family leave, the miners would get back to their work. No! the reporters exclaimed. Surely these new-made media stars would be going on to bigger and better things now they were famous and all?

About here I reached my limit. It’s a good thing, I guess, that I can’t afford to travel — I’d hate to have to admit I come from the same country that produced those two preening whores. And, Oh Lord, the contrast between the rescue operation I saw tonight and what happened here after Katrina and the Gulf Spill… it just doesn’t bear thinking about.

2 Bryan { 10.13.10 at 2:10 pm }

While we spent months dithering about calling a plumber to fix the broken pipe at the bottom of the Gulf, the Chileans immediately asked the company that made the drills that were being used who was the best operator, and they got him. It didn’t matter that the guy was from Colorado and was working in Afghanistan. they flew him in because he was the best person for the job.

That’s how you get things done – get the best and don’t worry about the costs until after the problem is solved. Rescue the people, and then get into the externals.

When the first question is “What is it going to cost?”, you have already established what the priorities are. The US doesn’t think about people any more, only about money. That is what “running government like a business” really means – money is more important than people.

3 JuanitaM { 10.13.10 at 8:14 pm }

Hey Brian! I just watched the last miner come up. Stunning work! And those miners – what incredible grace under pressure – it’s hard to imagine how they did it.

I watched from the comfort of my living room and still had to remind myself to breathe.

4 Bryan { 10.13.10 at 9:42 pm }

Actually, the trapped underground part would have been fine, but the half hour coming up the shaft would not have been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I crawled through some tunnels that weren’t much larger, but it was only because I had to in training, or to get something done, like connecting some wiring for an installation.

I’m content to hang around at sea level.

Underground mining is a country as seismically active as Chile takes people with a lot of guts, or real need. It’s dangerous enough when you don’t have to worry about the ground jumping.

5 Kryten42 { 10.13.10 at 11:45 pm }

Been watching it here. Our ABC and 7 Network have been covering it pretty well. 🙂

Two Aussie mine rescue specialists also worked with the Chilean’s.

I’m very impressed with the entire operation from the time of the collapse. The fact that there is actually anybody alive to rescue after so much time is amazing and a testament to the miners and everyone from the President down.

Last miner freed from underground prison

The media management in Chile has been extremely well done also. 🙂 The fact that every single part of the operation has been covered with camera’s 24×7 and streamed over the internet was IMHO a slap in the face for all those countries that said Chile was too backward to even mount a rescue (The USA wasn’t alone in that, but may have been the cheerleader). 😉

BTW, I have been reading with extreme amusement a couple of moronic conspiracy fantasy blogs that the whole thing is a conspiracy by the Mason’s! LMAO

Some people have too little intelligence and way too much time on their hands! 😆

6 Bryan { 10.14.10 at 12:24 am }

Reading the background was pretty amazing, as the Chileans said, basically, bring what you have and we’ll drill with it and let the fastest system win. They apparently had water well drilling equipment, mine equipment for ventilation holes, and oil drilling equipment. I got the impression that the manufacturers of the different systems were looking for bragging rights and a possible new market. I doubt they got that driller in from Afghanistan because they are warm and wonderful people, but because they can see new business in underground rescues with this system.

That capsule had a floor that would drop away and a repelling line inside, so if it became stuck, anyone inside could drop down to the chamber, and not be trapped while they were trying to get the capsule loose. On the sidebar of the original CBC article, they had a video explainer on a number of the features in the system.

They had NASA involved in several ways including supplying special diets and information on prolonged isolation. Actually it seemed like they were coordinating with everyone except nuclear and astro physicists.

This was obviously very good for Chile and its President. The US should shut the hell up until they figure out how to pull off a hostage rescue without killing the hostage. Throwing “flash-bang” grenades into a room filled with explosives is not exactly a winning plan. That’s right up there with using tear gas canisters taking down a meth lab, as guaranteed disasters.

7 Kryten42 { 10.14.10 at 5:23 am }

Oh yes! You are right about NASA’s involvement (and other US companies and specialists). Sadly, most American’s who believe they get *news* from the lying moronic bobble-heads at FAUX etc. wouldn’t even know just how much some American’s did for those miners. (After all, if people begin to think that the USA does have some capable people, they *may* begin to wonder why things at home are in such a huge mess).

And LOL! Isn’t it amazing what *TRUE* and real competition can force companies to achieve? 😉

And yeah… *sigh* Have ta agree with the whole STFU thing! That still amazes me…

OT: Speaking of the morons at FAUX… This might cheer you up a bit… It did me! 😉 Seems the News Corp Shareholders are rebelling against the Master (who seems to think he is a King and can do what he pleases!) Now that News Corp is 100% US owned, I was wondering what would happen. I must say, I am surprised! 😉

News Corporation Shareholders Rebel Against Company’s Political Donations

Now, shareholders may be taking notice of the potential illegality outlined by Millhiser. The New York Times reported today that The Nathan Cummings Foundation, a shareholder of News Corp., wrote a letter to the company’s board objecting to the company’s political donations, and warned against the use of “corporate treasury funds to further the personal political agendas of corporate management.” This afternoon, Media Matters obtained a statement from another investor, F&C Investments, which says it will oppose the re-election of the Chairman of the Audit Committee at News Corp.’s annual meeting this Friday in response to the donation controversy. F&C says it, too, is concerned about shareholder money being used to further the political goals of “individuals” within the company.

Murdoch may not understand the potential illegality involved with handing out political donations to advance his personal agenda — but apparently his shareholders do.

😆 I can’t believe that Murdock was stupid enough to use shareholder funds! Hmmm… Actually, He’s a 100% Rethug… so, yes… I can!! 😀 And doing this just before the AGM is amazingly brazen and shortsighted!

I think the US CoC is starting to feel the heat! And huge kudos to ThinkProgress for applying the torches, and continuing to turn up the heat!

Exclusive: Chamber Receives At Least $885,000 From Over 80 Foreign Companies In Disclosed Donations Alone

and this:

Over A Million Jobs Lost In Districts Where Pro-Outsourcing Chamber Advertises

8 Kryten42 { 10.14.10 at 7:04 am }

Of course… There is the other side to this story. As Juan Cole Points out (rightly, or wrongly).

Top Ten Questions about Chile Mine Collapse: Was it Nixon-Kissinger’s Fault?

As always, there are two sides to any event.

9 Bryan { 10.14.10 at 2:43 pm }

Actually, I’ve seen it said elsewhere that if Chile actually had safe working conditions in mines because of the President of Chile, no one would notice. But because they managed to rescue these guys from a collapse in an unsafe mine, he gets major points.

It’s the same problem in law enforcement – if you have a good program in crime prevention, the politicians will cut your budget because “you aren’t doing anything” and “there’s not enough crime to justify spending the money”. You can’t win, because they don’t want to hear how much cheaper it is to prevent crimes than to catch and imprison criminals.

If I owned stock in a company, I wouldn’t want money spent on politicians. You can’t trust them to increase the value of the company. If corporations spent more time and effort building what people want to buy, and less on trying to get the government to allow them to steal, everyone would be better off.