The first of 33 miners who have been trapped underground for more than 2 months are finally being winched to the surface.
The San José copper-gold mine collapsed August 5, burying the miners deep underground. Rescuers finally drilled through to the miners on August 22.
This morning, a steel rescue capsule “Phoenix” began to transport miners to the surface. Though it was originally thought it would take 48 hours to extract all the workers, it is believed it may take just one and a half days to free all 33 men.
31 year old Florencio Ávalos was the first to be rescued. At present, 13 men have been rescued, 27 year old Carlos Barrios being winched out at approximately 10.55 (Chilean time).
Chilean president Sebastian Pinera was on location to welcome each miner as they came to the surface. A few relatives are being allowed to welcome the trapped miners, before they are transported to a nearby medical centre.