An August 5th collapse at the San Jose gold and copper mine in Chile’s Atacama region trapped 33 miners hundreds of meters underground. Rescue teams had been drilling toward a refuge site, where it was hoped the miners had been able to take shelter – and earlier today, a probe sent down into the mine came back with a note saying “all 33 of us are fine in the shelter.”
Chileans have flocked to plazas to celebrate, and the newspaper La Tercera compares it to the delight that greeted Chile’s World Cup wins. After 17 anxious days of waiting for news, the miners’ families are overjoyed.
It will still take a while for teams to be able to extricate the miners, but they can at least get air, water, and food gels down to them, and allow them to exchange messages with their families.
It’s wonderful news, and a reminder that mine refuge chambers and well-prepared mine rescue teams save lives.