On October 15, happiness and joy filled the hearts of millions of people watching the rescue of 33 Chilean miners. After being trapped for 69 days, the miners were finally above ground, and were greeted by family and friends. Chile’s president and first lady Sebastian and Cecilia Pinera stood above ground, waiting to embrace the miners being rescued.
The miners were able to send videos and images via a drilled shaft, and according to Time NewsFeed, they were singing the national anthem and waving happily to the camera. Food that was supposed to only last three days lasted 17 days. There was also a first-aid cabinet and mats laid out near a wall.
“We plan, we have assemblies here every day so that all the decisions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33,” the men recorded into the camera, according to BBC News.
Eighteen days after the collapse, the first of three rescue drills (3.19 inches wide) reached the Chilean miners. Hydration tablets, high-energy glucose gel and a few medical supplies, including antacids, were sent down in order to sustain the miners until they could drill holes wide enough to allow them to be transported above ground.
Finally, after 69-day entrapment, the miners were rescued and reunited with their loved ones. People around the world tuned in to watch the rescue of the miners, and every time one was saved the siren rang, bringing relief when each man was saved and hope for the others.
Hoping that the rescue will highlight Chile’s status as a place for investment, Pinera said, “Chile will now be remembered and recognized not for Pinochet [one of the most controversial figures in the history of Chile, who established a severely inhumane military dictatorship] but as an example of unity, leadership, courage and success.”
Luis Urzua, the last miner to be rescued, told his president that “we have done what the entire world was waiting for; the 70 days that we fought so hard were not in vain. We had strength, we had spirit, we wanted to fight; we wanted to fight for our families, and that was the greatest thing.”