Chilean miners found alive – but rescue will take four months

lumbingmi

Active Member
Joy greeted the news that a group of Chilean miners trapped for 17 days deep inside a collapsed mine are all alive but the challenge now facing the 33 men is to maintain their sanity during the four months it will take to free them.

A rescue probe that drilled down 2,257ft to the bottom of the San José mine made contact with the miners yesterday, who sent back a message reading: "All 33 of us are well inside the shelter."

A note from the eldest of the trapped miners to his wife Lilian Ramírez indicated that the men were aware of the challenge facing them but confident that they would prove equal to it.

"Even if we have to wait months to communicate … I want to tell everyone that I'm good and we'll surely come out OK," Mario Gómez, 63, wrote, scrawling the words on a sheet of notebook paper that the miners tied to the probe. "Patience and faith. God is great and the help of my God is going to make it possible to leave this mine alive."

Video footage of one of the miners, taken with a small camera sent underground after receipt of the handwritten message, was obtained by CNN Chile. There has been no audio contact yet but the unnamed man appeared to be in good spirits.

Chilean authorities intend to send microphones down to communicate with the miners directly. Food, water, medicine and other supplies will also be sent down into the mine.

Rescue equipment from around the world is being rushed in to build an underground escape tunnel.

But officials said it would take at least four months to carve a second shaft some 68cm in diameter, wide enough for the miners to be pulled up one by one.

Davitt McAteer, the assistant secretary for mine safety and health at the US labor department under Bill Clinton said the miners' survival after 17 days was unusual but he predicted that having made it this far, they would emerge physically fine.

"The health risks in a copper and gold mine are pretty small if you have air, food and water," he said.

But he said the stress of being trapped underground for a long period of time could be significant. "There is a psychological pattern there that we've looked at," McAteer said. However, he added: "They've established communication with the guys; there are people who can talk them through that."

The miners were trapped on 5 August by a collapse in the roof of the mine, located outside the northern Chilean city of Copiapó. Mine officials had said the shelter's emergency air and food supplies would last only 48 hours.

Gomez wrote that the miners had created a canal of fresh water and used electricity from a truck engine to rig up lighting deep inside the copper mine, apparently creating a makeshift refuge.

From the day the mine collapsed, dozens of relatives staked out what they call Camp Hope near the mouth of the mine, where they built shrines and composed songs, hoping that rescue efforts would arrive in time to save the men.

President Sebastián Piñera, who read out Gomez's note live on television, said: "All of Chile is crying with excitement and joy."


Chilean miners found alive ? but rescue will take four months | World news | guardian.co.uk

Insane that they will have to find a way to pass time for four months. :shock:
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
I heard on the news that the miners have not been told yet it will take this long to get them out. I hope they'll be able to stay alive that long.
 

Tousi

Well-Known Member
I heard on the news that the miners have not been told yet it will take this long to get them out. I hope they'll be able to stay alive that long.

Since they have a way to get supplies to them, I don't see why not. However, 4 months sounds agonizing.
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
I heard on the news that the miners have not been told yet it will take this long to get them out. I hope they'll be able to stay alive that long.

it's better that way. This similar scenario was actually an experiment conducted by psychologists and NASA for long-term space travel (astronauts have to stay at I.S.S. for 2 months). Similarly - it was also used as part of torture method called sensory deprivation or related. CIA has used it on prisoners as part of "Enhanced Interrogation Method" to make them think they have been in prison for long time - 1 hour can feel like 5 hours - agonizing enough to demoralize them into spilling out the information.

anyway - it is best if the miners do not have the conception of time otherwise they would go insane. The longer it is - the lesser hope they will have but the good thing is... they never knew how long it's been so they were strongly advised to get busy among themselves like regular exercises, poker game, etc.

assuming that they were kept busy and all... they most likely thought it's been 2-3 weeks when it's actually been 2+ months.
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
They probably have a higher threshold for being trapped underground than most people but it's still not ideal. J

no. there's a difference between working in claustrophobia environment and being trapped in claustrophobia environment especially for extended period of time. I'm impressed with the Chilean government's handling on this under NASA's advice and expertise.

As morbid as it sounds - I am very very very interested in how long did the miners think they were trapped for. There's no doubt that this incident would be very valuable for scientists, psychologists, military, and corporations to study human behavior in this kind of situation.
 

sequoias

Active Member
Premium Member
no. there's a difference between working in claustrophobia environment and being trapped in claustrophobia environment especially for extended period of time. I'm impressed with the Chilean government's handling on this under NASA's advice and expertise.

As morbid as it sounds - I am very very very interested in how long did the miners think they were trapped for. There's no doubt that this incident would be very valuable for scientists, psychologists, military, and corporations to study human behavior in this kind of situation.

They could probably become claustrophobic in that situation. I'm sure they will develop that if they're still alive after being rescued.
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
They will start the rescue of 33 miners at 6:30 p.m. EST. Check CNN as usual!

watching it live now. interesting contraption they came up with.

but they're not rescuing them. they're just lowering one rescue worker down. hope he won't go crazy down there if the contraption broke :(
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
The first one is out!

He looks good.

Thank God!

I pray that they will all escape safely, including the brave paramedic who went down to help them.
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
I'm kinda nervous about the capsule thing because there's so many things that can go wrong like a mechanical breakdown and the person is stuck in the tunnel for a while.
 
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