This story could have had a much worse outcome. Thankfully it looks like there's a good chance all of the miners will emerge safely after being trapped in the Chilean mine for some 69 days. It's too bad our media isn't taking this opportunity to talk about mining safety instead of just focusing on the fact that it was something akin to a miracle that these workers have survived this ordeal.
Rescuers in Chile have freed the first of 33 workers who had been trapped more than half a kilometer underground for over two months.
Florencio Avalos, a 31-year-old miner, was brought to the surface shortly after midnight Wednesday in a metal capsule called Phoenix. Wearing dark sunglasses to protect his eyes from camera lights after 10 weeks of living in darkness, Avalos first embraced members of his family and then Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.
The metal capsule was then lowered back down, with a paramedic on board, to free the other miners one by one in an operation expected to last up to two days.
Another rescuer, Manuel Gonzalez, descended into the mine earlier Tuesday to assist the trapped workers. They will immediately be given medical attention when they reach the surface. [...]
Speaking at the rescue site, Chilean President Pinera said the mine, which has had a history of accidents, will be closed until the safety of those working there can be guaranteed.