Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Congratulations, Chile (so far)

We haven't talked about it here, but as this is being typed, the fifth of 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69, now 70 days- since August- is being retrieved out of the San Jose mine.

Let's remind ourselves here: mine rescues simply do not go this well. Most times a mine collapses, the rescue amounts to a mad dash of frantic digging to try and get to the miners before they run out of air, if the mine doesn't simply crush everyone instantly and render the bodies unretrievable. Chile got a very lucky break. The important thing is, Chile recognized they got a lucky break, and then decided... hey, we have time to make sure we get everyone out properly. If we can get food and air down to them, we can take our time on this. It doesn't have to be a frantic dig that might collapse the airhole. Let's do this right, and in the meantime, make sure the miners don't go crazy.

And then they went and did it.

Mine rescues do not end ANYTHING like this. They certainly do not include a guy explaining to the miners how to handle their upcoming 15 minutes of fame.

The fifth is on his way up, there will be 28 after him, plus bringing back the three rescue crew members they sent down. Cross your fingers and hope they go as smoothly as the earlier rescues, but bravo to everybody involved. Chile's done themselves proud.

EDIT: Number five is up.

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