The first several of Chile’s 33 trapped miners were hoisted to safety in a capsule barely wider than a man’s shoulders on Wednesday, cheering, punching the air and hugging their families after two months deep underground[…]
As dawn broke over the gold and copper mine in Chile’s northern Atacama desert, eight men had been liberated from the abyss in a methodical rescue operation in which the first miner was brought to the surface shortly after midnight.
Rescuers, relatives and friends broke into jubilant cheers as the miners, one by one, emerged from the mine. Florencio Avalos, a father of two, was the first to emerge to breathe his first fresh air in 69 days after a claustrophobic ascent of around 2,050 feet through rock.
Five years ago, this would not have been a rescue operation, but a body recovery. It took rescuers 17 days just to find them. Once they had found the miners, they figured it would take until Christmas to get them out, and even then it would be an incredibly risky proposition.
And yet, late late night, I saw a dead man walk out of his rocky grave and hug his wife. Mario Sepúlveda Espinace, the second miner out of the hole, described his time in a dank pit over 2000 feet underground thus, “I met God. I met the devil. God won.” I think a great many of the one billion of us around the world who watched the rescues continue into the wee hours of the morning met God (more reactions from memeorandum).
That’s not to say that what happened was purely supernatural. God’s hand requires some knowledgeable and willing humans to work and I am certainly glad there are such people still available to do the seemingly impossible.
Category: The World At Large