Today is a dawning of a new day.
And for 33 men, their families and their countries, It is a very joyous day. Seventy days ago, these 33 m3n were trapped over 2000 feet below the surface in a mine they were working. The first miracle came after over 2 weeks when it was finally known that all 33 men were alive and safe.
Then came another miracle. Countries all over the world worked together to come up with a plan to rescue these men. When it was said the rescue may not take place before Christmas, another miner who had been trapped in America said, “That’s not good enough”. He contacted people and said we have the knowledge and the technology to rescue these men a lot sooner. Along with NASA and the co-operation of many, many people all over the world….the work began
Three countries started drilling. Three efforts to bore through the abrasive volcanic rock went forward simultaneously — known as Plans A, B, and C — but it was Plan B that broke through to the miners first . South Africa (plan A) started with a 5 inch hole and then tried to enlarge it to 28 inches. Canada (plan C) started right away with the 28 inch hole, but the United States (Plan B) was the first to complete the rescue shaft. They started with a 5 inch hole, then enlarged to a 12 inch hole and ended with a 28 inch hole. In the end, it took only about six weeks to do what mine safety experts say is a job with little precedent: drilling a precision shaft, wide enough to accommodate a man, to a spot more than 2,000 feet — almost half a mile — underground.
On Monday, the Phoenix I capsule — the biggest of three built by Chilean navy engineers, named for the mythic bird that rose from ashes — made its first test runs after the top 180 feet (55 meters) of the shaft were lined with steel pipe, the rescue leader said. And finally late last night, the first miners emerged from their deep trap where they have lived for over months.
Such a wonderful experience watching these men arrive from the capsule. Who can forget the looks of the family members as they await the arrival of the capsule, the hugs, the tears and the cheers as they hug. The Chilean President has greeted each miner; even the single Bolivian; waving his flag as he arrived.
Now, just over 12 hours have passed….there are still over half the men left to rescue. It’s a school holiday in Chile so every person in the country can watch these men….and all over the world, people gather around TV’s and large screen live video.
Congratulations to All involved. May God watch over and protect all of these wonderful people….the miners, their families and their rescuers alike!