October 12, 2010

Chile's miners teach world hope rarely misplaced

Posted: 04:28 PM ET

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By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN

(CNN) - A hero's welcome awaits them when they get to the top, not because they did anything markedly noble - besides defy odds - but because they showed us there is hope even when the worst seems certain.

By this time Wednesday, the historic moment should be long under way. After 69 days beneath the earth, the last of the 33 miners trapped in the San Jose gold and copper mine in Chile should be preparing for their ascent to freedom.

Their survival, many will say, was born of the strength, patience and resilience God instilled in them.

Already, there have been myriad times a higher power was more than a mere specter or matter of faith to the men. Crammed like the canned fish that first sustained them into a space the size of a Manhattan studio apartment, they have expressed a oneness with the Holy Spirit that resonates with Chileans, 87 percent of whom are Christian.

"We 33 miners are walking hand in hand with God," miner Mario Sepulveda reported on August 31, about 26 days after the mine collapsed and nine days after the world first learned they were alive.

Another 42 days have passed since that profession of faith. Each day has doubtless required similar, sustaining thoughts.

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Filed under: Breaking News

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Smith in Oregon   October 12th, 2010 6:00 pm ET

If the Chile Government wasn't doing everything they could to help, these miner's would be stuck in their underground graves far longer than their likely rescue occurring later today.

Republican party's spewing the non-sense of 'less government' is nothing but total ignorance when it comes to such 'all hands on deck' situation.

Bush-Cheney tried the 'Less government' strategy and it utterly failed, resulting in the enormous flooding of New Orleans when those levee's burst.

ivan   October 12th, 2010 9:23 pm ET

You should know the Chilean mind psique to understand the miners. Generally speaking, we are not a country of whimps. Look at our history – last of natural catastrophies – and we can still laugh after mourning.

alicia   October 12th, 2010 9:36 pm ET

Dear Larry

Following the rescue I am telling CNN That process while you're thinking about the love she has Capacity of Mankind. if the man uses this Ability to rebuild this ailing planet Mankind will survive. my love for the miners and Their Families and the Work That this great group of men together to rescue historical Are Underway brothers.bravo God bless your Efforts.

alicia amaya (montreal, quebec , canada)

christina   October 12th, 2010 9:38 pm ET

Why do they all have Texas flags?

christina   October 12th, 2010 9:43 pm ET

Nevermind about the question about the Texas flag. Those are Chile Flags. They look the same. Sorry about that.

Lucille Corron   October 12th, 2010 9:55 pm ET

Re 33 miners underground –
Just how much space did these guys have to live in? Were they confined in any way? Wherever did they obtain food?
I sincerely hope and pray they will all be rescued safely!

Casimir Zigulis   October 12th, 2010 10:00 pm ET

I pray for those 33 miners and hope that all 33 are up safety and also pray for their Families as well. God Bless!

Lydia Pagan   October 12th, 2010 10:04 pm ET

Hi, God bless to all. We are praying for all the miners that today are coming out of mine. Jesus love you, he is youe saver. He take care of all of you. Dont forgetvthat you born today.

Mike Williams, Galion, OH   October 13th, 2010 12:04 am ET

Two questions, what consequences are likely if the door of the capsule fails during transport, and is there a backup capsule ready for use in the event of any sort of failure?

Audra   October 13th, 2010 12:05 am ET

Hi Larry,

I was thinking–the last person to leave won't be the last of the miners, it will be the last of the rescuers–what sorts of things will they do before leaving... turn out the lights?

What an eerie feeling to be the last out. Congrats to the miners, rescuers, and family and friends who have waited what was probably an eternity.

jordan   October 13th, 2010 12:09 am ET

I'm glad to hear that the miners are getting rescued safely. But why is there a rescuer going down for every guy coming up. 33 guys to begin with and then there was 34, now there is 33.

Ken Wallace   October 13th, 2010 12:09 am ET

How will the last one out secure the door from the inside before it is lifted out...

Mike Williams, Galion, OH   October 13th, 2010 12:17 am ET

Great point about being the last one out Audra–very eerie I would think. And I believe the door latches from the inside Ken?

Terry   October 13th, 2010 12:23 am ET

Why are they continuing to send down rescuers? It is absoutely amazing what is happening and the coverage the Chiliean gov't has arranged..

Audra   October 13th, 2010 12:24 am ET

Excellent question, Ken! They seem to be taking extra care when fastening the door–the last one will be on his own!

Mike, the total of people pulled out will be about 38 (with 5 rescuers)?

AL   October 13th, 2010 12:31 am ET


Gary Viveiros   October 13th, 2010 12:31 am ET

For years, oceanographers have asked why is there so much research for outer space, and ther is little if any research for living under the sea, or in closed habitats.

Robert Rothenberger   October 13th, 2010 12:32 am ET

There are times in ones life that we witness some good some bad, some happy, some sad. The rescue of Chile's miners shall be added to my happy list along with landing on the moon, the freeing of the hostages in Iran and the birth of my daughter

Maria   October 13th, 2010 12:36 am ET

are they really sending an EMS down each time> That would seem extra risking. then it was really total of 66men?
I was wondering what would happen if that cable breaks? I pray that their is a plan. I don't understand why they are sending up the strongest first? It doesn't make sense. I would think that the sickest and weakest would be first. They are the ones that need the emergency care.

Gary Viveiros   October 13th, 2010 12:36 am ET

For years, oceanographers have been trying to get the government to give research moneyaway from the space program, for closed habitats below the ocean, because there is a big unknown as to the effects on humans living at that depth, with little or no natural sunlight.
Today, we see that after 60 days, thousands of feet below the ground, the physical and mental effects are no different from the compensations needed in outer space, with a few exceptions. The research that comes out of this will be invaluable for kick-starting things like underwater habitats if the seas are to be mined for things like magnesium nodules.

Archie f w beckett   October 13th, 2010 12:49 am ET

hey again larry king.what a great day for the familys of the miners the miners themselves, the country of chile, all countrys involved in this historic rescue,&for the future of mankind &the world.

Cristobal Fernandez   October 13th, 2010 12:50 am ET

This is the criteria for who gets pulled up first:

1) The first miner who is about 30 yrs old wil check on the progress of the other miners (that's why he got out first).

2) Those miners who have a poor physical/cognitive health come next.

3) The miners who are in a relative better health state are last.

Those are the criteria that were thought for this rescue and you can check with your correspondents in Chile for more details.

Mike Williams, Galion, OH   October 13th, 2010 12:51 am ET

I love Mike Rowe, but really?

Laurie Morris   October 13th, 2010 12:54 am ET

The world is watching something my generation has never experienced. However, when all is said and done and the miners are returned to safety, who will assume responsibility and what recourse will the miners.

Laurie Morris   October 13th, 2010 12:57 am ET

The world is watching something my generation has never experienced. However, when all is said and done and the miners are returned to safety, who will assume responsibility and what recourse will the miners have? Physical, mental and I'm sure a wide variety of possibilites. Treatment could be ongoing. Who will pay for their costs, support their families and general compensation?

Diane Gonsalves   October 13th, 2010 1:04 am ET

Please cover the entire rescue All of these men need to be recognized for their ability to endure this situation, which many of us would not have been capable. And to all the rescue workers who worked so hard to save all of these men, incredible. I started watching before the 1st rescue and no matter how tired, will watch until all our home. Thank you CNN for covering this most humane story.

Jean, Toronto   October 13th, 2010 1:04 am ET


You are keeping me up from getting my beauty sleep. 🙂
The men have great faith, hope and trust in God. God helped them to keep up their spirits. What courage they have.
Their family, friends, the entire Chilean country and people in other parts of the world have been praying for them.
Ever since I heard about their dilemma in the mine, through CNN and whenever CNN broadcasts about them I have prayed for them.
Toronto local TV Stations have broadcasted it. They will also do so tomorrow.
Today, I am praying that Our Lord Jesus Christ see the miners through safely. I prayed this through the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
No exception, I also prayed to His Dear Blessed Mother, the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, Our Lady whom Catholics are devoted to and ask her, through her intercession, to pray for them and be with them.
When all the miners get out it will be a moment for increased jubilation.
Their wives and family are eagerly awaiting their arrival. This must be great suspense for them.
I recall heariang on CNN that one of the miners who did not marry in the Catholic Church promised his wife that when he gets out they will have a Catholic wedding. I hope this wedding will be broadcasted. It should. I would love to view this. I visualize the celebration.
I am excited to see that so far two men are already out. I do not know if I can stay up but I will try. This is an exciting time to see this wonder.
We hope not Larry that they will not soon be forgotten. You know, news, people hear so much that after this news subside there will be some other news to captivate their minds.
This is historic indeed.
Larry, you must be tired with two segments but I know you can handle this.
God bless you, Larry!

Ethel Sinkewitz, North Port, FL   October 13th, 2010 2:20 am ET

Larry, tonight we witnessed the greatest miracle of our lifetime. I'm 80 years young and you, 70+. You stated that nothing of this magnitude has ever been accomplished before in history. That is true. Every day all around us miracles happen, yet the world is always waiting for miracles to happen like they say happened in the Bible. Well, for all you doubters out there, BELIEVE for this is a REAL MIRACLE.
Only God could have brought these men through this horrible ordeal. The rescue of Mario Sepulveda and the Joy he demonstrated is proof positive that God truly is in control of all things... God Bless him, the other 32 miners, those men going into the hole and all who are working on this miraculous recovery. And God Bless you, Larry!

Maria   October 13th, 2010 2:42 am ET

There can be miracles when you believe.

Sunny   October 13th, 2010 8:41 am ET

I am completely surprised that on all the TV networks and mainstream media around the country no one can understand the way our chilean brothers have handled this situation.

Why is it so difficult to understand that life is not that big a deal, actually nothing is. The paranoia, fear and "according to the book" that accompanies every single event and how to resolve it, in this part of the planet, the US, is what is surprising for the rest of the world.

Yes people get together when a calamity strikes no doubt and this happens everywhere. The percentage of "bad guys" is minimal in the planet" the media wants us to think is a majority.

The media should report with more social responsibility and give people "good news" and "real life shows" instead of the idiotic reality shows and all the meaningless but poisoning programming that is produced.

I think what is urgently needed is to realize that we are all alike, we feel, dream and want the same things and no one has the "divine right" nor is better than anyone else regardless, of color, language, location or ideas, we are all here on a learning experience, that is all, and we are all going to the same place at the end of our time here...which is nowhere.

cherryrn   October 13th, 2010 10:49 am ET

Today, the anniversary of" the Miracle of the Sun" in 1917 Fatima Oct 13 , another Miracle of the Sun for Catholics

Alberto Patricio Solis Bojanovic   October 13th, 2010 11:34 am ET

Gentlemen, I have been following the news about the chilean miners buried underground in a mine at the northern part of Chile. The funny thing about this episode is that before it happened, the chilean governments, current and past, never gave too much attention to the northern part of Chile, where there is not enough water, infraestrutcture, and progress like there is in Santiago, Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, and other cities of the central part of the country. If you visit Santiago, the capital of Chile, you will be surprised to see a vision of a FIRST world city. Probably 80% of the country income comes from the copper export activities. This ore , copper, comes, mostly from the northern part of the country but there is no return of benefits for the poor miners, the same thing happened when the "white gold" (saltpeter) was being mined and produced, end the 19th. century and beginning of the 20th. Millions of dollars were produced at the time, just like now with the copper, and benefits for the north had been, and are, less than nothing. This truth must be told.

A.J.   October 13th, 2010 11:42 am ET


TLM   October 13th, 2010 12:08 pm ET

Thanks CNN – Larry for covering this last night – It was a great night – the use of technology without borders.

Chile – You are an inspiration to all of us around the world. First the earthquake and then this horrible incident. To the world – this is what we are supposed to do in this earth – help each other without differences – this is a great day to be human.


Ivan Araya   October 13th, 2010 10:17 pm ET

Thank God this ended up in the best way possible.
Thanks to the miners, for showing us such brave heart and to give us the oportunity to understand that when men work unite under the God's eyes, everything is really possible.
Love made it possible, again...

Peace, and...


Hussam Odeh   October 13th, 2010 10:53 pm ET


Thank God for the safe recovery of the 33 miners in Chile. I could not help noticing that with all the great coverage of CNN and other networks, noone shed a light on the role of their faith in surviving this unbelievable experience. I think someone should host a catholic priest from Chile to explain the role of faith in coping with such an accident.

Hussam Odeh

Joe Ventura   October 14th, 2010 12:51 am ET

Nice to see a feel good story for a change. I own a business and would hire any one of those miners based on thier faith and true grit.

We need more people like them in this world. You're all a true inspiration to survival and the human race.

Don't forget the rescue people who went too. They had extreme courage as well.

God Bless All Of You!

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