October 12, 2010

Tonight on Larry King Live!

Posted: 07:00 PM ET

Trapped Underground for 68 Days!

Former Navy SEAL Jesse Ventura has

survived some harrowing situations.

He’ll tell us what the Chilean miners are

experiencing with rescue perhaps hours away!

Then, a special LKL at midnight!

We’ll go live to Chile for the dramatic

scene as the trapped miners near freedom!

We want to hear from you!

Send us your questions about the mine rescue.


Filed under: Larry King Live

Share this on:
Allie   October 12th, 2010 9:05 pm ET

Are the miners being given dramamine to deal with the capsule spinning on the way up?

jeff foster   October 12th, 2010 9:10 pm ET

just a question... this in regards to the rescue of the miners in chile. Is there a secondary breaking system or line? What happens if the main cable fails?

Rosanna   October 12th, 2010 9:12 pm ET

The miner that said that there has been 34 of them in there all this time said it all , The 34th being God with them thru all this to the end !

USA Indiana

Bruce Deloney   October 12th, 2010 9:16 pm ET

i think its great the miners are finally being freed but my question is why cant we save our miners here in America when they are trapped in the mines, are the mines that different ????

Bruce Deloney
Springfield Illinois

scott   October 12th, 2010 9:17 pm ET

I'm hopeful the recovery effort in Chile is successful and that the trapped miners make it to the surface without a hitch. However, with all the careful planning involved, why wasn't the door on the rescue capsule designed to slide open within itself like an elevator door but curved??

AILEEN   October 12th, 2010 9:19 pm ET


Rocco   October 12th, 2010 9:19 pm ET

How did they find out that the miners were alive after the collapse?

Kelly Linton   October 12th, 2010 9:19 pm ET

Question....during the rise of the miners are they going to have one family member of each miner near the rescue center to talk to him should he become panicked...a voice of a loved one to calm him?

aj   October 12th, 2010 9:20 pm ET

why is cable attached to rescue capsule not vertical but at an angle?

Will Hemmings   October 12th, 2010 9:22 pm ET

In what order has it been determined the miners will be brought out of the shaft?

ron   October 12th, 2010 9:23 pm ET

I have heard the weight of the capsule to be around 950? pounds. but the cable will weigh several thousand pounds at the full distance of over 2000 feet. that plus other cable and gear may bring the weight up near between 5,000 and 6,000 pounds at its greatest distance.

Jason Willbrandt   October 12th, 2010 9:24 pm ET

Not a question, but a token of hope...

I am excited and filled with hope about the rescue of the miners from Chile during the next 48 hours! It reminds me of The Rescue of Jessica McClure in Midland, Texas during 1987. It is coincidental that this rescue is scheduled to be completed exactly 13 years to the day of Jessica's fall into the well on October 14. God bless our hard workers!!!

Fedupboomer   October 12th, 2010 9:24 pm ET

Larry King – you are irreplaceable – forget Piers Morgan – he cannot hold a candle to you. I will not watch him and do not care what he says or does. Please rethink leaving or is it too late? Well now to the trapped miners – this is just an incredible story. Watching and hoping all of them come up without any problems and all will be well. Praying for all of them and their families and friends. So Larry – know you are working on spending more time with your wife and sons and commend you for that decision. Best of everything to a man I truly respect. Blessings to you and your family.

Cathy Woiwod   October 12th, 2010 9:25 pm ET

Larry, about an hour ago the capsule was test fitted in the hole after the "manhole cover like lid" was opened. At that time, what appeared to be water vapour/steam curled up to the surface. What is the difference in the temperature where the miners are and the surface air above? Has the space where the miners have been confined been ventilated and efforts made to decrease the temperature they are subjected to?
Thanks, Cathy, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

David Solo   October 12th, 2010 9:26 pm ET

I understand that the steel casing is limited to the depth of loose soil where there is possibility of caving in. How sure the rescue group is about the ground condition? I think they should have the bore hole completly lined with steel pipe..
Futher they should have 30" DIA bore to provide more room to the minor.

Kevin   October 12th, 2010 9:26 pm ET

What will happen to the mine area where the miners spent their time? Will that area be abandoned or is there any other use for it?

Milan Rajacich   October 12th, 2010 9:26 pm ET

Why in the world do they need to send five rescuers into the mine. Unbelievable.

demarco williams   October 12th, 2010 9:26 pm ET

im watching the coverage and it seems like they are stretching out this mission as long as they possible can for publicity and ratings and thats not giid because those guys have been down there long enough and want to see their families but they have sit sit around and wait while these rescue people play around with this lift and sit around talking trying to show their company logo on tv

J. Purdon   October 12th, 2010 9:27 pm ET

Ask Sanjay if there's any concern about decompression sickness or "the bends".

SDraper   October 12th, 2010 9:27 pm ET

How deep down are the miners?

Nathan   October 12th, 2010 9:27 pm ET

So who gets to go last ? that's my question

Susan in Kentucky   October 12th, 2010 9:28 pm ET

Will all 5 rescuers have to go down first before any of the miners are brought up?

DeWayne   October 12th, 2010 9:28 pm ET

If there is fog and the helicopters can't fly what is the backup plan to get them to the hospital. I think I heard that the flight would take 10 minutes?

pam   October 12th, 2010 9:30 pm ET

have the miners continued to be paid throughout their entrapment

does chile have workers compensation

are there jobs for the miners to return to, if they wish to return

Deron Triff   October 12th, 2010 9:30 pm ET

The survival of the Chilean miners is extraordinary.

I thought that your readers would be interested to know that the longest underground survival is actually an untold story of 38 Ukranians who silently slid down a muddy hole in the ground to escape the Nazis as they pushed across Eastern Europe. While the war raged above their heads, five Jewish families survived for 527 days, in two massive cave systems. Their story is the longest ever-recorded uninterrupted underground survival in human history.

Cave explorer, Chris Nicola, uncovered this story in the mid 1990s when he, along with a group of elite Ukrainian cavers, were mapping Ozernaja (or Blue Lakes Cave). It is the 11th longest and 2nd largest gypsum cave system in the world. Deep inside the cavern, Chris stumbled upon objects left by the survivors -buttons, shoes, a grinding stone, even a house key and spent years trying to figure out if vague rumors were true – that with no gear or training, a group of desperate people had lived in this cave for months on end, and survived. When he finally did confirm the story’s authenticity, it turned out that more than a dozen survivors were still alive, one of them lived only 15 miles away.

In fact, this week we have a team in the Ukraine that is bringing several of the survivors back to their underground sanctuary some 60 years after the ordeal.

God bless all survivors who have been through unimaginable challenges like these.

welamac   October 12th, 2010 9:31 pm ET

We know that past events like the Chilean miners are experiencing now often present future problems, some fatal. I am referring to Post Traumatic Distress Syndrome. I wonder how many miners will be affected in a negative way by this experience, commit suicide, or overdose on fame?

Charlotte, NC

annelie mclaughlin   October 12th, 2010 9:32 pm ET

I might have missed it-but who are the 5 rescue people who are there to rescue the minors-more details–where are thy from???Americans,volunteers,Nasa employeesEtc.

melissa carroll   October 12th, 2010 9:34 pm ET

Who will be communicating with the miners on the way up and What will be said?
Lancaster, PA

Matt   October 12th, 2010 9:34 pm ET

What's with the Texas flag? One man in the mine was waving the texas flag, and then outside of the mine there is a huge mine flag as well. WHAT'S THE DEAL?

Mark   October 12th, 2010 9:35 pm ET

I pray that each minor makes it up the shaft safe. My prayer is that they have a quick recovery process as the come up and go home to there families.

Randy Emile Allan Govereau   October 12th, 2010 9:35 pm ET

I want to know if they are all going to be okay? IF any of the survivors have died since the mine? Because how would the surface people know? they're not down there. SO YES that is my question Mr. |Larry King.

Jaye Lynn   October 12th, 2010 9:35 pm ET

Being one mile underground, do the miners need to go thru a decompression period on their way up?

debbie   October 12th, 2010 9:35 pm ET

Who and how determined in which order will they be brought out?


Mark Arrowsmith   October 12th, 2010 9:36 pm ET

With the miners so deep for so long is there a risk of decompression sickness?

Marquis   October 12th, 2010 9:36 pm ET

i Live In Syracuse New York i go to Clary Middle School an We Wrote letters to the Chile miners. An i wanted to know if the chile miners read our letter while they were down there.Me an my class an teacher work very hard on are letter's. An my teacher had paid for are letter to go to the chile miners so i wanted to know if they got them.

scott   October 12th, 2010 9:36 pm ET

Why wasn't the rescue capsule designed so that the door slides open within itself much like an elevator door but with a curve? Would not have minimized interior capsule space more than a half inch. Clear advantage dealing with the real threat of transit debris obstruction during ascent and descent.

Kathy   October 12th, 2010 9:37 pm ET

Larry – what's being done with the other two drill sites – are they considered a contingency plan if something renders the current one unuseable? I would have thought that they would have kept drilling on at least one of them.

Dan   October 12th, 2010 9:38 pm ET

Hi Larry,

Being trapped for 65 days and in limited or artificial light, are the miners at risk of long term eye damage once they are brought up.


St. Catharines, Canada

Laura Ondeck   October 12th, 2010 9:38 pm ET

Larry you mentioned the 5 rescue workers that will be rescued last. Where are they now ?.....Will one rescue worker descend with each trip or are they all going down first to facilitate with the rescue?

Mike McCutcheon   October 12th, 2010 9:38 pm ET

Larry KIng- I heard mention that after 38 round trips with the capsule , this rescue will be a success. I hope the capule is capable of 43 trips so the rescue workers can re-surface also!

Marla Joseph   October 12th, 2010 9:38 pm ET

Would it help if the miners were given a watch and a flashlight to see the time as they come up out of the mine in the capsule?? I think this would help take their minds off of what is really going on and give them hope as the minutes go by. To me the trip would seem like an eternity without knowing how many minutes are passing by.

Reuben   October 12th, 2010 9:39 pm ET

How big is the area where the miners have been living all this time?

FYI for Larry, Anderson and all the CNN reporters: the pronunciation of the town is Co-pee-ah-poe with the accent on the "poe".

Casey   October 12th, 2010 9:41 pm ET

I am sure they thought this through but I wonder about the advisability of flying the miners in a helicoptor to the hospital instead of driving them. I would think going up in a helicoptor would be anxiety producing itself as well as causing some physical problems with changes in pressure, etc.

angela headley   October 12th, 2010 9:47 pm ET

It is wonderful to hear that the miners are starting to surface. In a news brief a reporter had stated that this is the longest that anyone has been trapped underground. I would like to remind people that back in WWII French soldiers were trapped in a bunker for approx. 6 years. The last two is made to believe with no light.

Yuri   October 12th, 2010 9:47 pm ET

I have a question, the capsule has an escape latch underneath it, what happens if they get stuck halfway, how will they escape?

Michele Sweeney   October 12th, 2010 9:47 pm ET

Is there a priest on site for the miners?

Melissa   October 12th, 2010 9:48 pm ET

I'm curious as to how much this has cost.

F   October 12th, 2010 9:49 pm ET

I wonder if the miners will want to go back in the hole once they find out their wives know about their affairs.

Peter McGranaghan   October 12th, 2010 9:50 pm ET

what will happen to the mine after the rescue ? will it be shut down ?

john connell   October 12th, 2010 9:53 pm ET

who are the rescue crew guys going down? what are their qualifications? and will they allow the last miner to come up on his own after they all go back up insuring them the last man out a miner?

Theckla   October 12th, 2010 9:55 pm ET

On one newscast, they had mentioned that there are 33 miners trapped, however only 32 will be rescued. I haven't heard this again, but is there an issue with one of the miners and won't be able to be brought up, or was this a slip?

Lance Jensen   October 12th, 2010 9:55 pm ET

Larry –

Why is the cable not centered over the rescue shaft??

Kevin L.   October 12th, 2010 9:55 pm ET

A Question for Mr Larry King?
Who are the rescuers that will be sent down into the mine and how were they selected? What background / qualifications do they have?

Kathy   October 12th, 2010 9:57 pm ET

How will they determine in what order the miners will come out?

pam   October 12th, 2010 9:59 pm ET

matt =
it is not the texas flag, but the flag of chile

Andes, Chile Surviver in 1972 for 72 days   October 12th, 2010 10:00 pm ET

..REMENBER on a October 12th, of 1972, An Airplane CRASCH in the middle of THE ANDES CHILE with an entire RUGBY TEAM FROM URUGUAY..South America..

gail g Coons   October 12th, 2010 10:01 pm ET

listening to the rescue, I would hope that when the capsul goes
down, that it wouldn't come up empty, and talking to the person in the
capsul going up and down, would be nice to help them for the longest
15 min.'s in thier lives...........God Bless All.........there........will be watching...........

diego   October 12th, 2010 10:03 pm ET

after all the miners are rescued i wonder what's gonna happen to everything their leaving behind like the one truck and machine nary

KRepas, Trinity, AL   October 12th, 2010 10:04 pm ET

During the coverage of freeing the trapped miners in Chile' I am very disappointed that you would air Jesse Ventura and not John McCain. I am not a fan, but you can't compare what they have experienced.

Alfredo   October 12th, 2010 10:06 pm ET

Is there any information about the high of the cave and if it matches the high from the capsule? The capsule bottom should reach the ground of the cave to keep the capsule aligned with the hole by where it should go back thru, which might not be an issue with the help of the miners to place it back into the tunnel with a miner inside, except for the last person to board it.

KRepas, Trinity, AL   October 12th, 2010 10:07 pm ET

Hopefully the mine owners will pay the miners for each hour they have been trapped.

Sonya   October 12th, 2010 10:16 pm ET

My dad there does not appear to be a safety line attached to pulley in case there is an emergency. What's going on with that?

Sonya   October 12th, 2010 10:18 pm ET

My dad said there does not appear to be a safety line attached to the pulley in case there is an emergency. What is going on with that?

Lyla   October 12th, 2010 10:23 pm ET

I would just like to say that I am really thankful to all those American people who have been working non stop to help rescue our miners in my homeland. But at the same time, I feel compelled as a Chilean to comment on AILEEN'S statement. Have you ever heard that charity is free? I mean when you help from your heart, you do it because you are a good soul not expecting anything in return. I can guarantee you that after the ordeal is over, those helpful souls will be treated like kings in Chile. Regardless of the lack of American flags. These is no time to think about satisfying some people's EGOS. I suggest you think about the miners for now, and God will take care and reward all coraugeous souls. Thank you!

Chi-Chi   October 12th, 2010 11:37 pm ET

i want to say "THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHO WORKED, PRAYED & STOOD TILL THIS DAY TO MAKE SURE THE MINERS COME OUT". The media, families,everybody................. GOD BLESS YOU ALL......................!

katie   October 12th, 2010 11:56 pm ET

Why do so many rescuers have to go down? - it seems like the first one has it under control and I would think it is a bigger risk to put more people down there that they have to get back out. Will they come out after the miners or before the last miner?

Hope   October 13th, 2010 12:02 am ET

How ironic is this. By the end of tomorrow all 33 miners, we pray, will be rescued! Tomorrow's date is 10/13/10=33!!!

heat   October 13th, 2010 12:02 am ET

how did they decide the order of the miners coming up?

Elio Acosta   October 13th, 2010 12:03 am ET

Im not from Chile but the eminating essence of unity and patriotism in this rescue mission reinforces my beliefs that human compassion still exists in this world. It makes me feel good to see humanity is still alive. Godspeed.

Dave   October 13th, 2010 12:03 am ET

This is television that is truly beyond belief!!! Reality TV is nothing compared to what we are seeing in this story. I've never been as taken with a news story as I have been tonight!

Rosa Torrejon-Verasay   October 13th, 2010 12:03 am ET

Felicidades Mineros Chilenos! Una Copiapina en Clearwater, Fl les manda un gran beso y abrazo para todos los 33 mineros Chilenos! Felicidades y saludos de la familia Torrejon-Verasay.

paul   October 13th, 2010 12:04 am ET

Larry, who will strap in the last person to leave the mine? Great Coverage by you and CNN, thanks!!

Elaine Kennedy (BC Canada)   October 13th, 2010 12:05 am ET

I am wondering how officials designated which miners would come up first, second, etc?

+Val   October 13th, 2010 12:05 am ET

I am thrilled to see the first minors escape death in Chile!
What kind of mine is this, Larry? Has this company suspended it's business? Will there be any compensations or law suits?

heat   October 13th, 2010 12:06 am ET

The miner who came up first looked very clean and shaven for having no showers. Is that for the media?

vincent   October 13th, 2010 12:07 am ET

Thank God the rescue operation is going well. My question is who will close or latch the door of the FENIX for the last person to be rescued.

Linda Irby   October 13th, 2010 12:07 am ET

My husband spend a month there this past spring2010 and last fall2009 and its pronounced Co-pee-ah-po I've got pics of the water coming from the mines and of the landscapes there

Larry Gardner   October 13th, 2010 12:07 am ET

The Chile rescue is phenominal. But what about the rescue of the trapped, flooded miners in PA a few years back. Had it not been for that accomplishment, the Chilean miners would have been doomed. Give USA enginuity some. WE LED THE WAY!!!

Herlinde Spahr   October 13th, 2010 12:07 am ET

Of all the people that visited the underworld in Greek myth, only two were able to come back alive. This rescue is rewriting myth.

Jeff K.   October 13th, 2010 12:07 am ET

Is there a backup capsule on standby in case the primary capsule gets damaged?

Aaron   October 13th, 2010 12:09 am ET

Just wondering, did these miners receive overtime pay? They have been on the job site for the last 68 days afterall. All humor aside, what an incredible rescue!

bruce tran   October 13th, 2010 12:09 am ET

Why dont they have video camera in the basket to check on the miner
on the way up in case something go wrong.

Agatha Jo   October 13th, 2010 12:10 am ET

This rescue is simply wonderful.... Not a dry eye in the house... However.... Larry King needs to retire... His completely INANE and insubstantial comments are an insult to this history-in-the-making!

SonnyB in Arkansas   October 13th, 2010 12:10 am ET

when all are finally rescued ............ 10-13-10=33 wow.

Nilda   October 13th, 2010 12:10 am ET

Amazing coverage from CNN...Congratulations Anderson Cooper and Larry King. You are the only news coverage of the miner rescue in Chile. It's an incredible night for everyone watching this event. Thank you NASA for the rescue effort. VIVA CHILE AND THE MINERS.

Sandra Williford   October 13th, 2010 12:11 am ET

My heart has been in my throat for the past hour, and probably will be for the remainder of the rescue. I agree with Larry...words fail...monumental, moving and emotional...unbelievable that we are "casual" witnesses all over the world of this event...and praying all make it to surface safe and sound. In these times, uniting as a humanitarian force for such an outcome is deeply gratifying

Doug   October 13th, 2010 12:12 am ET

How will the last miner up close the door to the cage?

Janice Hill   October 13th, 2010 12:12 am ET

I keep hearing the newscasters remarking on how this capsule has never been tried before, Didn't they use the same type of capsule to rescue the miners in West Virginia?

Kimberly   October 13th, 2010 12:13 am ET

Why are they sending up the healthiest miners first? Why has that decision been made?

Jaykay   October 13th, 2010 12:14 am ET

why are the healthier miners the first to come up? One would think those in the worst health would be brought up first?

Deanna   October 13th, 2010 12:15 am ET

Thank god that they found a way to help those miners

JP   October 13th, 2010 12:15 am ET

As much as everyone like to see the miners out ASAP, is the rate at which they are being brought up in the capsule a concern at all?

Like in scuba diving, depending the depth you dive, the rate of rise should be adjusted accordingly.

Not sure if this applies in this case.

Susan   October 13th, 2010 12:15 am ET

In the mine rescue operation, the wheel can be seen which is an idler. What kind of engine is the power source please?

CK   October 13th, 2010 12:16 am ET

Wonder if the capsule would hold all the ups and downs. It looks very battered.

Dee *~MIAMI~*   October 13th, 2010 12:16 am ET

Can someone please explain to me how would the last miner/rescuer enter the capsule?

Andy Mathisen   October 13th, 2010 12:16 am ET

As a retired First Aid Man and Safety worker in mines and mills across western Canada I am deeply moved by the rescue tonight of the trapped Chilean miners. Kudos to all..from Nasa to the Chilean government; the drillers and the rescuers. Here's a poem of hope for all those deep underground and their worried friends and family;



From Cumberland to China
we work underground
Then a bump
and a thump
seals our fate
with its sound

Be it hard rock or shale
bitumous or gold
the timbers can snap
and you never grow old


For 15 long minutes we rise up the shaft
back to sunlight and laughter and
a glass of cold draught

The sunlight burns bright
on our shuttered dark eyes
It takes a full 15 minutes
yet we rise..and we rise...


From Xinglong to Yellowknife
we work underground
From Springfield to Matewan
there's a terrible sound
when the roof it just shudders
and awakes all our fears
and from Westray to Wigan
there is nothing but tears.


For 15 long minutes we rise up the shaft
back to sunlight and families and
a glass of cold draught

The sunlight burns bright
on our weak darkened eyes
It takes a full 15 minutes
yet we rise..and we rise..


For 64 days we blinked in the dark
while above us they drilled and
gave our life a warm spark
Soon a ride up the tube
will bring us back to life...
a kiss from the kids
and a hug from the wife.
Soon sunsets and sweet wine
and release from our strife.


For 15 long minutes we rise up the shaft
away from darkness and danger
and the cold cavern's draft

The sweetness and sunlight
brings tears to our eyes.
We escape our dark prison
as we rise..and we rise...

Copywrite Andy Mathisen Oct 12th,2010

GOOD LUCK to ALL Tonight!

Edward Leon   October 13th, 2010 12:16 am ET

Will these men ever go down into a mine again, and how will the government take care of them?

Jerome   October 13th, 2010 12:16 am ET

I think it funny at this wonderful time Larry will be wondering if they'll rename a street for this that Larry was just driving on the street yesterday........ stay with the program Larry .....

Zeroza   October 13th, 2010 12:17 am ET

Awesome! Now how much overtime this guys are going to get?

David, North Carolina   October 13th, 2010 12:20 am ET

What a heart touching event unfolding in front of the world.But I'm asking myself if any of the miners would choose to continue with this profession once they have had sufficient time to recover. May God continue to be with them and their families.

Allen Kaleta   October 13th, 2010 12:23 am ET

Are there more than one capsules.

Allen Kaleta
Rosemont, Illinois

mark spencer   October 13th, 2010 12:23 am ET

who drill the shaft that the rescued man are coming up in and who made the rescued cage that they are using.

John   October 13th, 2010 12:24 am ET

I'm glad to see that the rescue is going well and that the miners are being rescued but I have a question. Are there any engineers that helped create the tube for the mine rescue or are there any U.S. officials helping with the rescue? If yes, why aren't there any U.S. flags displayed on TV? Since the whole world is watching, I think this would be a great opportunity to show that the U.S. does help other countries and we are not the cruel country that some people perceive us to be. This question might be better suited for our congressman and those running our country or those in charge of international relations.

Rick_in_Calgary   October 13th, 2010 12:24 am ET

This rescue is so wonderful.....but I am just wondering........who is going to help the last miner into the capsul??

Mike   October 13th, 2010 12:25 am ET

This is so cool but I wouldn't use the phrase "unprecedented" or something "never, never, never, seen before". Remember the Quecreek Mine rescue? There were like 11 miners rescued from a flooding mine by using the same type of capsule.

jon howell   October 13th, 2010 12:25 am ET

below the portion of the shaft that is lined with metal piping would the rock inside the shaft be smooth to the touch, or uneven and jagged?

Leonard Hartley   October 13th, 2010 12:25 am ET

This is such a mind bogling operation to witness. I was wondering if they were having some problem with the door on the capsule? Great work by everyone.

Marlene Baker   October 13th, 2010 12:26 am ET

any idea the estimated cost of such a rescue? (every penny well spent may I ad:))

Ken Wallace   October 13th, 2010 12:27 am ET

How will the last one out secure the door from the inside before coming up to surface..

JANE M. ROBINSON/Albany, NY   October 13th, 2010 12:28 am ET

This is a truly amazing experience! Yes, i agree with Gary Tuckman that it is similar to the night the men landed on the moon: uncharted territories from the top of the skies to the depths of the earth! I just can't believe my eyes that live cameras are actually IN the mine & the entire rescue process is visible in real time! It simply warms my heart to see what mankind can accomplish when we work together for good There is a real lesson in this for World Peace .I once read a saying that went more or less" Words are forever mocked by the reality of what they try to describe." I won't be able to sleep until Miner#33 is safely retrieved!
God Bless Them Every One!

Chris Curtis   October 13th, 2010 12:28 am ET

This is Great. But if they are locking each one in when going up and down. Who is going to lock the last one in.

Riley   October 13th, 2010 12:28 am ET

Why are they sending rescuers down each time?

Joseph Williams   October 13th, 2010 12:29 am ET

Larry can you explain why they are sending a person down who stays, while sending one miner backup. to me that means the same amount of people are still down there. can they get two miners in at once? watching to hear your thought on CNN.

Sarah   October 13th, 2010 12:29 am ET

@Kimberly & Jay Kay – They are bringing up the healthier miners first because they don't have experience with this sort of rescue situation. They decided that if they bring up the healthiest first they would have an idea of how/if the others will be able to endure the 15 minute ride up to the top. They have to worry about breathing, blood pressure, circulation, etc.

@Larry King – please stop talking. You are absolutely ruining this coverage.

LaVerne Blank   October 13th, 2010 12:29 am ET

The first rescue mine shaft that was drilled and the cage used to rescue 13 miners was in Somerset, PA (Quecreek Mine). This bring back so many memories to our town. Praise God for his hand in
in this rescue also.

Leon Bateman   October 13th, 2010 12:30 am ET

There appears to be a great deal of concern about the securing of the door on the rescue capsule.

What about the last remaining man, most likely one of the rescuers?

How will they ensure the dorr is properly closed from the inside, if there's no one else remaining down the rescue shaft?

Excellent coverage. Really a moment in history that we're sharing.

Thank you...Leon Bateman B.C. Canada

renee thornton   October 13th, 2010 12:31 am ET

Why are they sending a rescue worker down everytme they send up a miner? Isn't it going to take even longer bring them back as well? Help me to under stand. Thank you

Dennis Liss   October 13th, 2010 12:31 am ET

Why isn't there somebody on TV answering all the questions that are being sent in via this blog. Why are the healthier miners being sent up before the weaker ones. Larry King is the most boring commentator ever.

Vee   October 13th, 2010 12:31 am ET

One comes up one goes down. Why? Not understanding the math. At what point do they stop sending someone down with capsule? And what is the purpose of them going down?

Andres Bedoya   October 13th, 2010 12:31 am ET

It is sad that some people had to live under the grownd but is amazing how LATINOS come together to do a great things and show to US and the World that we as Latinos have great education and great immagination to do great things.

If we decided to be, act, work and improve together life will be way better to all of us in US.

Big congrats to Chile whom not only come back from a masive destruction but overcome this mining accident.

gregory currie   October 13th, 2010 12:31 am ET

I am as hopeful as anyone but curious if the other two drills are still in operation as a precaution. Similarly, is there a 2nd capsule standing by, the pulley that raises and lowers the capsule is there a backup for this as well.

Gus Lanzo Jr   October 13th, 2010 12:31 am ET


I notice a person enters the capsule each time a miner is brought up.
How many more people are they going to let go underground?


Sandra Williford   October 13th, 2010 12:32 am ET

I wonder if it has been considered to utilize the U.S. Navy Submarine Service expertise related to the debriefing aftermath for these men and their families/significant others? So many of the dynamics are similar, including the shift to the return to a new "reality" for everyone involved. My husband is retired submarine service and while on patrol was underwater for 3 months at a time with his crew with no interactive contact...consultation with those familiar with these dynamics could be very helpful

Cathie L.   October 13th, 2010 12:32 am ET

The capsule door needs adjusting from the outside prior to lowering and also prior to raising it. What will be done when there is only one person left to return to the top, and there is no one else left to do the outside adjustment?

Sarah   October 13th, 2010 12:32 am ET

@ Everyone asking about the "last miner" to come up – They already have a rescue worker down there and they are actually sending down a total of FIVE rescue workers so all of the miners will be brought to the top and then the rescue workers will be brought up last.

Stephen Dakos   October 13th, 2010 12:32 am ET

I am curious as to what will happen to both the shaft and the chamber at the conclusion of this rescue. It would be wonderful for the international community to come together and preserve the site as a training facility for deep earth rescues.

Natalia   October 13th, 2010 12:32 am ET

@LYLA: I Couldnt agree more with what you wrote. Charity is free. The least important thing is what other flags are displayed to show the world who helped and who did not. The only important thing here is the miner's health and the rescue process.

This is an incredible story we are witnessing. God bless them all.

Neil Cote   October 13th, 2010 12:33 am ET

It doesnt look so easy to get in the capsule. How will the last man get in and go up with out any help from someone down below?

carribean gal   October 13th, 2010 12:33 am ET

I wish all the miners their best and to the families continue to stay strong. To all the men behind this rescue project god bless you all and great work.

Karla   October 13th, 2010 12:33 am ET

Un Milagro de Dios...A Miracle from God...

My thoughts and prayers are out to the miners and their families.

Just one question: What other countries, other than the United States, helped with the rescue?

marcia pearce   October 13th, 2010 12:35 am ET

wondering why they dont send a couple extra suits down on an empty run so the men can be dressing and ready to go when the capsule gets to them

Archie f w beckett   October 13th, 2010 12:35 am ET

Hey larry. being a 72 yr old mech. engineer Singers. cly. Scotland. I just hope that the guys at the surface check on those wheels on the rescue capsule as things progress as with variences in temp &stress can take their tole on the equipment. what a wonderfull day for mankind &the world cheers larry&thank you for great reporting!!

Lucre   October 13th, 2010 12:36 am ET

Remember that submariner, though not necessarily all the time in darkness, are in confined spaces, and under water for very long periods of time. And armed forces members are away from their families for months and months.

AC   October 13th, 2010 12:36 am ET

It's a fantastic rescue operation and I am praying that all the miners and rescuers get out safely. Great coverage CNN. My prayers are especially with the final rescuer who will be left in the mine, after the others have reached safety, to wait for the capsule to return for him. He will need nerves of steel and will have to carry out all the safety checks on his own without help from his colleagues.

Steve G   October 13th, 2010 12:38 am ET

why are they filling the hole full of rescue workers? Whos gonna rescue the rescue workers???

Bob Kelley   October 13th, 2010 12:38 am ET

Congratulations to Chili on the rescue. Question: Why are men going down into the mine, and one coming back up. What is the long term procedure for getting all the people out.
Thank you,
Bob Kelley, Tennessee

Lucre   October 13th, 2010 12:39 am ET

How will the last man get in and go up with out any help from someone down below?
A: there are 3 rescuers down there now, that are checking and helping the miners to get ready for the ride. They will be the last ones, they are Chilean Armed Forces

Alex   October 13th, 2010 12:39 am ET

Good Evening Everybody

Why do we need moments like these to remind us what really matters ?

God bless all the miners and everybody involved in the rescue operation.

Thank you CNN

Samantha   October 13th, 2010 12:42 am ET

How are they deciding the order for the people to come up in?

Lucre   October 13th, 2010 12:42 am ET

Being one mile underground, do the miners need to go thru a decompression period on their way up?
A: the miners are 1/2 a mile underground. The pressure on air is not the same than underwater... no stops needed for decompression.

Engrid Toorock   October 13th, 2010 12:42 am ET

How was it determned who would come up and it what order?

rasp   October 13th, 2010 12:42 am ET

i don't think the second miner was just handing out "ROCKS" i think he was distributing large chunks of SILVER ORE.

why do you think the President was seen later with a visible sagging in his left jacket pocket...don't want to throw THAT away!

Mary   October 13th, 2010 12:43 am ET

If the world can pull together on a project like this, why can't we do this on other serious issues? Look at the success we could have if we all worked together!

nancy2z   October 13th, 2010 12:43 am ET

You keep talking about coal mines and energy but wasn't this mine for gold and/or silver???

Jayson Read   October 13th, 2010 12:43 am ET

It's just running through my head about the last miner to come up and what must be going through his head for the forty minutes or so that he will be all alone.

Juli Currans   October 13th, 2010 12:44 am ET

I was curious as to why sending down so many rescue guys. Seems if something where to happen half way though, we have them down there as well. I see the need for a couple to check out all the Miners, but maybe 2 or 3... Just a thought

Chris   October 13th, 2010 12:44 am ET

Do the miners have any lighting in the capsule on there accent?

Joe   October 13th, 2010 12:44 am ET

Miners rescued on 10-13-10 = 33 miners. Coincidences or fate?

Yvette F   October 13th, 2010 12:47 am ET

Why do they need to send a rescuer down with the capsule? Won't they have 33 more men to send up after the 33 miners after they have been rescued?

Jeanette   October 13th, 2010 12:47 am ET

I'm watching the rescue of the trapped men in Chile....Do you know why are they sending more than 2 rescuers down??

Lucre   October 13th, 2010 12:47 am ET

@Stephen Dakos The Chilean president said that the sight, this mine, will be shut down for ever. And there is going to be a memorial built there to conmemorate all, and forever remember.

MarisaRN, Denver   October 13th, 2010 12:47 am ET

Tomorrow's newspapers should have as a headline:
"Chi, Chi, Chi, Le, Le, Le, Viva Chile". What a great evening and great coverage of this monumental event for Chile. I am proud to be the daughter of Chilean parents, grand daughter to a Chilean miner and 1st generation signpainter's kid, I am Jose and Isabel's daughter. An amazing night.

Michelle   October 13th, 2010 12:48 am ET

Great coverage,thank you. Just saw one of the miners shares my last name,not very common. Makes this feel closer to home.

Diane   October 13th, 2010 12:48 am ET

I live in northeast PA and have toured several coal mines (Ashland and one in Scranton come to mind). The tourists are told to wear a jacket and I've seen places that have jackets to loan tourists who came unprepared to go into the mine that is a constant temperature – I believe a lttle over 60 degrees F. It's reported the Chilean mine is at about 90 degrees. What makes the temperatures so different? I'd expect temperatures to be the same when underground anywhere in the world or does it depend on the depth of the mine – the deeper the hotter? That doesn't seem logical. I would think the further down you go the cooler it would get if temps weren't the same at all depts.

Jason   October 13th, 2010 12:49 am ET

Great coverage, thanks for the live coverage of a very special time for these men and their families.
Not sure why the count of men underground doesn't include the three men that have gone down. 33 men were trapped 2 have been raised and three have gone the math.

Dave Alm   October 13th, 2010 12:49 am ET

How many rescue men are they going to send down? Right now we still have 33 people down there – seems to me we're putting more chickens in the hen house with the fox.

Lucre   October 13th, 2010 12:49 am ET

Are the miners being given dramamine to deal with the capsule spinning on the way up?
A: the miners have been drinking some special drinks, brought from the USA to help them cope with the spinning, give them stamina, or something like that... but they are not drugged... or sleepy, they are in complete control of their faculties.

Roland McFarlane   October 13th, 2010 12:50 am ET

I hope the rescuers are monitoring the integrity of the cable and its connection point on the capsule, also the cable contact points with the various pulleys. I also hope the rescue team has another length of cable on standby to replace the cable that is currently in use, if it begins to show signs of strain. The cable is operating under tension between two temperatures.

Lee-Anne   October 13th, 2010 12:50 am ET

I can't stop watching the miners being brought to the surface. I am so happy for their friends and family to have some closure on this. Wishing all the miners a full recovery after all they have endured!!!!
Thanks be to God!!! Amen....

Eva Otte smith   October 13th, 2010 12:50 am ET

The second rescued miner took his hat off for the first lady of chile...after 69 days under ground! Unbelievable – hats off for the miner!

Albert Rodriguez   October 13th, 2010 12:50 am ET


(Baytown, Tx)

Sebastian Martinez   October 13th, 2010 12:51 am ET

According to Telemundo, the way it was decided who goes first, was based on the fact of who were the strongest in mind.

The fiirst 4 up showed to be the best fit and with the necessary analytical skilsl if any thing went wrong. The next 11 after were the one that will need some kind of medical attention.

Doug   October 13th, 2010 12:51 am ET

Larry, it's pathetic to watch you try and limp through this rescue. You obviously did not do your homework on what's happening, nor did you obviously watch AC describe it all just prior to you going on the air. "How do you prep a Capsule" is what you just asked and Mike Rowe had to bail you out. Pretty weak journalism.

You can't leave the airwaves soon enough in my book. Your lack of show prep is obvious and you look like a baffon trying to get through this.

Jayson Read   October 13th, 2010 12:51 am ET

After all the miners are rescued, do we know if they will attempt to drill and go back down and eventually work the mine again?

pat   October 13th, 2010 12:51 am ET

something seems wrong, they have been underground for 69 days and why don't they have facial hair, why is there no person screaming to get out, and why do they have a flag down there, I think something isn't right, help explain if you can

Mike Sessions   October 13th, 2010 12:52 am ET

How will the last minor load up in the capsule?

Celeste   October 13th, 2010 12:52 am ET

I've been watching the coverage of this miraculous scene on CNN and I am so appreciative of the AWESOME coverage CNN has done. Thank you! Bless the hearts of these men and I'm praying all 38 or so will be rescued (including the 4 or 5 they're sending down). I've cried when another man has reached the surface, imagining how he must be feeling. God bless you all.

Favorite quote from tonight was "there were actually 34 of us there, God was always with us."

Jesus   October 13th, 2010 12:52 am ET

Hey Larry, I just heard you asking about how they decided which iners ro bring up first and I just wanted to let you know I was listening to spanish news earlier and what they did was they divided the 33 in three groups, the more able, the ones with health issues and the stroner and bring them up in that order.

Chelsea   October 13th, 2010 12:52 am ET

Question: Were the miners being paid while they were trapped underground? Will all of their health/mental care be paid for by the mining company?

Lucre   October 13th, 2010 12:52 am ET

@AILEEN Sorry you did not see them yet, but thee are many American flags flying as well... I also have a channel 24, out of Chile, streaming online, which was bradcasting from afar.. (what we see in the news is official feed), and when it was day light, you could see many American flags... along side the Chilean, and others...

Glenn   October 13th, 2010 12:54 am ET

Amazing and thank god. It reminds me of the Springhill bump in Nova Scotia 50 years ago where miners were traped 13000 feet and radio stations around the world broadcast the events but not all of them made it out. Again god bless these miners and the workers who have worked so hard. Being a miner it`s so moving and inspirational. Thanks to all!!!

Carol Santo   October 13th, 2010 12:54 am ET

CNN writes: "31 miners await rescue." They forget that once they sent "rescuers" down, they too become in need of rescuing. So... the question still stands, who will assist that last man in closing the capsule?

To answer a question asked by Larry King, they sent up some stronger men first to report back to the sicker miners what to expect. "First out will be those best able to handle any difficulties and tell their comrades what to expect. Then, the weakest and the ill – in this case, about 10 suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dental and respiratory infections and skin lesions from the mine's oppressive humidity. The last should be people who are both physically fit and strong of character."

Above someone asked about if they gave dramamine. "They were given a special high-calorie liquid diet prepared and donated by NASA, designed to keep them from vomiting as the rescue capsule rotates 10 to 12 times through curves in the 28-inch-diameter escape hole."

Lorinda Glogowski   October 13th, 2010 12:54 am ET

Am I seeing things? When a miner is brought up, it looks like they send somebody down in the capsule each time to get the next miner. Why are they doing that if that's what their doing.


Lucre   October 13th, 2010 12:55 am ET

What is the difference in the temperature where the miners are and the surface air above?
A: 90 degrees

Pablo   October 13th, 2010 12:56 am ET

Larry, yes, they divided the miners into three groups, the strongest being the first out, and second those who have some type of health problem. I don't know about the third group.

Felipe Garcia   October 13th, 2010 12:56 am ET

Larry didn't report if the third time the capsul went down loaded with a rescurer or did it went down empty? The last reporter did a better job informing the names of the rescurers and the minors being rescued on the capsul.

charles putnam   October 13th, 2010 12:57 am ET

The shaft looks big enough and the minerss well enough, so why not
Air/Sea Rescue vests?

jay appling   October 13th, 2010 12:57 am ET

mike rowe you rock

KyJoe   October 13th, 2010 12:57 am ET

When will mining regulators make mining safer for the brave men that risk their lives.

D of Denver   October 13th, 2010 12:57 am ET

in watching the live video... one of my concerns is the 2 larger miners in the frame... they seem a little big for the fenix capsule.

Roger Blackwelder   October 13th, 2010 12:58 am ET

I don't understand why they send so many men down in the mine,
there bringing the third man up , thy sent three men down I don't understand.

Thank You
Roger Blackwelder

Gene Kennedy   October 13th, 2010 12:58 am ET

What did the miners eat while trapped for 69 days?

Molly   October 13th, 2010 12:58 am ET

Is there anything we can do on our end to help the families? Donations?

Jesus   October 13th, 2010 12:58 am ET

In regard to the people going down it was the pan all along...four miners/rescuers to help from the bottom with keeping all in order.

John   October 13th, 2010 12:58 am ET

To answer several questions out there the temperature is about 46 F degrees but inside the mine is about 95 F degrees. I was watching CNN when Larry asked prep the capsule whatever it means. Basically they are wearing special suits to avoid the temp diff, also they have biomechanical belts to check their breathing and heart beat. Also they are using oxigen. Last report they were having problems with opening and locking the door nothing serious but to make it easier for them. Also they are wearing an arnes if they faint to be in a standing position all the time.

Sebastian Martinez   October 13th, 2010 12:59 am ET

The Chilean President said earlier that the mine will be shut down along with other mines, for having a history of misfortunes.

Warren Davies   October 13th, 2010 12:59 am ET

Larry, that "wheel" on top of the yellow supports is called a SHEAVE (pronounced "shiv." It is designed to offset the angle of the wire rope used so that it can aim properly down the tunnel to the miners.

There are millions of sheaves in use today throughout planet earth in mining shafts, marine railways and elevator shafts.

Great job in covering the events of the evening.

Warm regards,

Warren Davies,
President & CEO

carol m   October 13th, 2010 1:00 am ET

How can anyone not believe in a higher power, be it god or whatever? These men survived for so long underground with barely anything. God bless them and their families and pray that the rest of them are safe and in the hands of their families soon My prayers and thoughts are with them and I will stay up praying that they all come up safe. God Bless Them All!

Brenda   October 13th, 2010 1:02 am ET

This is bitter sweet....I am so happy for the miners and their the end of this month it will be 30 years since I lost my older brother to a mining accidnt....may he rest in peace..

Homecutter   October 13th, 2010 1:02 am ET

Did anyone else notice the technician tightening a cable clamp with "needle nose pliers" before the capsule first went down?! I sure hope that isn't a critical cable. Those clamps need to be heavily torqued, and that cannot be accomplished with pliers!

L.Rickard   October 13th, 2010 1:03 am ET

When a school child in the town of St. Charles, Va., My father owned a business there, and I went to school with children whos fathers and older brothers worked in the coal mines. I remember hearing sirens and all the children were very quiet. and everything stopped,. total silence. This usually meant there was a mishap at one of the mines. They were wondering if their father or older brother might be involved. I also remember when the miners came in to purchase things, their eyes were lined with the black coal dust.. My father always treated them with respect. A salesman once said to him, I do not understand, you treat these people like they are special. My father said to him: These men risk their lives working underground in terrible conditions, they deserve my respect. I was very proud of my father.

Jerry Blakely   October 13th, 2010 1:06 am ET

I am concerned about the pulley at the top of the shaft that appears to be secured with a fabric strap. This pulley has to be removed each trip. If it is dropped or the strap breaks it will fall all the way to the capsule. They need to put an additional safety strap on that pulley to prevent it from falling if one of the above things should occour.

Jesus   October 13th, 2010 1:12 am ET

They can not stop amazing me.....when the third miners was out they asked him how was the trip up and he said "like in a cruise" God bless not just them but all miners in the world!

Lucre   October 13th, 2010 1:12 am ET

Q: I have a question, the capsule has an escape latch underneath it, what happens if they get stuck halfway, how will they escape?
A: the capsule was design to brake manually in two parts, top and bottom. If something bad happens, the miner has to dislodge the capsule and fall back down.

Q: Do the miners have any lighting in the capsule on there accent?
A: no

Q: Why are the healthier miners being sent up before the weaker ones.
A: Healthier were sent first. Some of them. Less healthy will go int he middle. Healthy againat the end. The rescuers are down there assessing exactly this matter.

Nancy   October 13th, 2010 1:15 am ET

I am so elated to see these men finally being rescued from this underground tomb. How can anyone ever question there is a God? If not for God these men probably would have never survived and also the knowledge God gives these rescuers from all over the world have brought these men back to their families and much sooner than first anticipated. I can't believe the posts saying the US flag should be displayed due to the help the US has provided. I am sure these men and women who have helped with this rescue could care less if there is any recognition for themselves. Their reward for all their hard work is seeing these men being slowly brought over 1/2 mile from beneath the earth back to their families and friends. When you do anything charitiable you don't do it for recognition, you do it because you care for your fellow man. There are people from all over the world who have participated in one way or another with this rescue. I know Canada has people working there and have had from the beginning. I don't see Canadians wanting to know why their flag isn't flying. One thing for sure, this has brought the whole world together in hope and prayer for all these men. It is such a shame the miners who have been lost from around the world in the last couple of years couldn't have had this happy outcome. Chile seems to be way ahead of the US in safety in their mines. The US mining industry could take some lessons. I am just thankful to God tonight to be able to sit and witness this miracle live. It feels like when I was a child and watched the men take their first steps on the moon. It was a feeling of elation and fear all at the same time. Thanks be to our Creator for the success of this wonderful rescue mission. My prayers will be for the remaining miners and also for a healthy outcome for all of them. Best wishes to them and their families for the future.

Archie f w beckett   October 13th, 2010 1:16 am ET

Eperanza para el pias de chile. how proud it must be to be a chilean tonight!! they did it what no one else has never accomplished chilean goverment muy bien, you lead the world. congrats muchachos qua bonito.

Lucre   October 13th, 2010 1:20 am ET

Q: So who gets to go last ? that's my question.

A: the miners fought to be the last. They all wanted their fellow miners to go first. "The final order will be determined by a Navy special forces paramedic who will be lowered into the mine to prepare the men for their journey." AP

Q: How deep down are the miners? A: 2000 feet

Q: have the miners continued to be paid throughout their entrapment. A: the company declared bankruptcy. No pay. The government of Chile, I understand, is the one taking care of everybody.

James   October 13th, 2010 1:24 am ET

Is there a reason all of the miners are coming up clean shaven? Is this because of the lack of light?

Homecutter   October 13th, 2010 1:24 am ET

My guess is money is now going to be the least of these miners concerns. They are heros and they'll have to fight off movie/book deals.

Leon   October 13th, 2010 1:26 am ET

I spent 6 years in the mines (underground). Northern Ontario, Manitoba, and B.C.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for these men, and the rescue and drilling team that made this rescue possible.

I hope time and support will help them get their lives back to normal.

Homecutter   October 13th, 2010 1:27 am ET

A smaller shaft was drilled several weeks ago to provide food, water, RAZORS, etc.

Leon   October 13th, 2010 1:31 am ET

In answer to Jerry's question:
Q: I am concerned about the pulley at the top of the shaft that appears to be secured with a fabric strap. This pulley has to be removed each trip.

A: That small chev wheel attached with webbing is to keep the cable centralized as best as possible within the 28" casing.
The shaft is not perpendicular, but at around 80 degrees (according to reports), so if that small chev wheel was not utilized, the cable could rub against the edge of the casing, and be damaged.
You can be sure that device is tethered so as not to fall in.

Uwe Zink   October 13th, 2010 1:41 am ET

This is not a historic event, in the year 1955 – 3 miners have been rescued from a mine shaft in germany using a bomb shaped vehicle called the Dahlbusch-Bombe. google Die Mutter aller Rettungskapseln

Uwe Zink

josedefreitas   October 13th, 2010 1:46 am ET

thank you.

carol m   October 13th, 2010 1:46 am ET

I would love to sponsor a dinner for the 33 men. A good home cooked Pa meal of homemade pirogies kielbasi and homemade Pittsburgh sandwiches(meat, cheese, fries,cole slaw} , They deserve more though I am so happy they are with us yet. Go Chile!!! Please let me know what we can do. I would love to do a fundraiser to help out the families. Thank you and God Bless each and every one.
Thank you and really think about this, it could be your family.

carol m   October 13th, 2010 2:34 am ET

does anyone really care...It is not is life, in the US or where ever we are, we are still one...let us help ... i am sick of you are from here and we are from there...what happens at the end of times? we are all the same so we should act that way now and maybe, just maybe , we can learn something..although maybe too late. It is our own fault for being so self indulged.

Macarena Araya   October 13th, 2010 3:26 am ET

I am very proud to say that I am chilean. Right now I live in Arizona and I almost started to cry when I was watching tv in the gym. Words cannot describe what I am feeling right now. I wanna say thank you to the amazing president that my country has. I would also like to say thank you to every single one of the miners that were trapped. I am the daughter of a man who works in a mining company and I would die if something like that ever happens to him. I am very proud to call myself chilean right now.

joe   October 13th, 2010 10:32 am ET

Last night on the news, Larry said that this was the first time we had ever witnessed this before, may he be riminded of the following.........

On July 24, 2002, eighteen coal miners at the Quecreek Mine in Lincoln Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, owned by Black Wolf Coal Company accidentally dug into the abandoned, poorly documented Saxman Coal / Harrison #2 Mine Saxman mine, flooding the room and pillar mine with an estimated 50 million gallons of water. Both the Saxman Mine and Quecreek Mine are in the Upper Kittanning coal seam. The Upper Kittanning seam locally ranges in thickness from 38 to 62 inches (970–1,600 mm) and dips 3 to 4 percent to the northwest.

The structural geology of the area caused the flooded mine void of the shallower Saxman Mine to be at a higher elevation than the active Quecreek Mine. The Saxman mine was located along the axis of the anticlinal Boswell Dome and the Quecreek Mine on the western flank of the anticline. The mine was opened by Quemahoning Creek Coal Company in 1913 as Quecreek No. 2 mine. Saxman Coal and Coke Company purchased the mine in 1925 and operated it until 1963 with an idle period from 1934 through 1941. The mine had also been named Saxman, Harrison, and most recently, Harrison No. 2. The miners were working on July 24, 2002 in the 1-Left panel. The 1-Left panel was driven up dip from the Mains for approximately 3,100 feet (940 m). The flooded abandoned mine was located immediately up dip of the Quecreek #1 mine permit boundary in the Upper Kittanning coal seam.

At approximately 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24, the eighteen miners were in danger 240 feet (73 m) underground, below the fields of Dormel Farm. when the flooded Saxman mine was breached as the mining progressed eastward. Water had broken through the face and was inundating the entry, and the nine miners in the 1-Left panel area used the mine's phone system to notify the other group of nine miners in the 2-Left panel to evacuate immediately. These miners were able to escape at around 9:45 p.m. and alert others, and a 911 call was made at 9:53 p.m. However, the mine was flooding too rapidly for the miners in the 1-Left panel area to evacuate. Twice they tried to travel in the four-foot-high tunnels over 3,000 feet to a shaft that would lead them to the surface, but these were also flooded. Back on the surface, Pennsylvania State Police were guarding the Quecreek mine site by 10:30 p.m., and instructed reporters to go to the local church for a press conference scheduled to occur later that night. State Police Cpl. Robert Barnes Jr. also telephoned families of missing miners asking them to come to the Sipesville firehouse for more information. Around 11 p.m., Barnes also asked United Methodist pastor, Barry Ritenour, if he could spend the night at the firehouse with the families. In addition, calls were made between 11:30 PM and 12 AM to find a drill that could bore a hole big enough to raise men from a mine. One was located in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

Water continued to rise in the mine during the morning hours of Thursday, July 25. During this time period, water levels rose to the portal entrance (inby means inward from mine entrance portal), as follows:

12:15 a.m. 1788.0 1,900’ inby portals
12:55 a.m. 1795.0 1,700’ inby portals
3:10 a.m. 1805.0 1,450’ inby portals
4:54 a.m. 1810.0 1,350’ inby portals
6:11 a.m. 1820.0 1,000’ inby portals
6:35 a.m. 1822.0 900’ inby portals
8:40 a.m. 1836.0 40’ inby portals
9:15 a.m. 1836.0+ Water coming out portals.

[edit] Rescue operations
With the mine portal entrances to Quecreek mine nearly under water, rescue operations started immediately. While pumping water would begin at all mine locations and any nearby residential and commercial water wells, the mine rescue first focused on getting air to the trapped miners. With the help of Bob Long, an engineer technician for Civil Mining Environmental Engineering, GPS measurements were made and a 6.5-inch-diameter (170 mm) borehole was begun at 2:05 a.m. The borehole was drilled to allow air to be pumped into the mineshaft where the miners were presumed to be, at the most up dip location near where the Saxman mine was breached. A four-member team started working about 3:15 a.m. Thursday, and its drill cracked through what turned out to be 240 feet of rock, and into the mine shaft 1 hour and 45 minutes later. This drilling required operator Alex Nicoletti, 33, to use the right mix of urgency and restraint to avoid destroying the drill and delaying the rescue. On Thursday, July 25, 2002, at 5:06 a.m., approximately 8 hours after the breakthrough, the 6.5-inch (170 mm) hole was drilled into the mine. The drilling rig's air compressor pushed air into the mine, and the air returns from the borehole showed a marginal air quality of 19.3 percent oxygen. Rescue workers tapped on the inserted air pipe, and at 5:12 a.m. received 3 strong bangs in response, followed by 9 taps 11:40 a.m.

However, while the drilling rig's compressed air rapidly increased the oxygen content of the mine air, monitors showed the rising water was approaching 1,825 feet above sea level, and rescuers feared they had perhaps an hour before the area where the miners had taken refuge would be under water. Mine ventilation expert John Urosek, of the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety Health Administration, proposed creating a pressurized air pocket for the miners. Urosek's plan had never been tested in the United States, but despite some skepticism, calculations were made, and the hole was sealed around the air supply. The drill operator then used his rig's air compressor to pump and maintain 920 cubic feet per minute at a temperature of 197 degrees Fahrenheit at 90 pounds per square inch. The sound due to the high rate of pumped air deafened and hurt the miner's ears, but provided hope by the knowledge that rescuers knew where they were.

Meanwhile, an ongoing battle was to dewater the Quecreek Mine to allow rescue operations to be planned. Millions of gallons of water had to be pumped from the flooded coal mines as the water level needed to be lowered to prevent the loss of the air pocket in the mine area where the nine miners would congregate. Should a rescue hole penetrate the mine, the air pocket could escape and the air filled void area become flooded, and the miners would drown. The second grave concern was the quality of the air in the mine. Pumps were set up as they became available.

Work proceeded immediately to install pumps in the pit as they arrived. At 8:33 a.m. Thursday, the first of several diesel pumps arrived at the mine site. Before this pump arrived, only two submersible pumps were operating in the sump area of the pit. At 11:05 a.m., water was four to five feet deep in the mine pit entrance. Water in the pit reached a maximum elevation of 1856.8 feet at approximately 4:00 p.m., Thursday, July 25.

High-capacity diesel pumps were installed in the pit and put into operation in the afternoon. A 6-inch (150 mm) drop in the water level was reported between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. The pumping discharge rate fluctuated constantly as new pumps arrived and changes were made. The maximum pumping rate achieved was approximately 27,000 gpm at the mine pit. Additional borehole locations were surveyed on the surface for holes to be drilled into the lowest area in the mine. Additional dewater holes were drilled to accelerate dewatering.

Back underground, rising water covered the air shaft, preventing the miners from tapping on the pipe, though for a time they used a hammer to bang on the rock ceiling, detectable by seismic equipment which was brought in by Federal mining officials. By noon Thursday the miners had to retreat to the highest ground, about 300 feet from the airshaft, near Entry No. 1. With water rising 70 feet away, Fogle estimated that they had about an hour left to live. Notes were written, prayers were said, and most of the miners roped themselves together, to die as a family. However, as dewatering continued, they noticed and confirmed the water had ceased to rise. Switching to survival mode, the drenched miners sought to conserve resource and sat back to back to fight hypothermia in their 50 degree environment. Crew chief Fogle in particular encouraged them, confident of rescue. Hall's lunch pail was discovered floating and was retrieved, with the still dry corned beef sandwich his wife had made him, and a bottle of Pepsi, while Foy found two Mountain Dews on one of their machines. The miners at this point could hear the drilling getting nearer, but at 1:50 a.m. Friday it stopped.

A "super drill", capable of drilling a 30-inch (760 mm) hole, had been sent with police escort up from West Virginia. Once oxygen purging began, drillers had begun the 30-inch Rescue Hole No. 1 at 6:45 p.m., Thursday, July 25, to intersect 1-Left section. It was located approximately 20 feet away from the 6.5-inch (170 mm) ventilation hole, and was drilled to a 105-foot depth by 1:12a.m., Friday, July 26, when the drill bit broke. The distance from this point to the mine was estimated at 139 feet. At 3:45 a.m. a portion of the bit was retrieved from the hole, but it was discovered that part of the bit had broken off and remained stuck in the hole. A special tool was needed to be fabricated in order to assist in retrieving the bit. Normally, such a job would be done in three or four days, but a 95-member machine shop in Big Run, Jefferson County, was enabled to build the tool in approximately three hours. A National Guard helicopter flew the tool in, and the bit was retrieved from Rescue Hole No. 1 at 4:09 p.m. on July 26, 2002.

The failure of drilling equipment stopped progress at this borehole for about 18 hours. The miners were concerned. Foley opined that they might have plugged up or might have broken a bit, and reassured the others that drilling would surely begin again. The miners' relatives were taken to the mine on the afternoon of the 25th and briefed on the rescue effort. Governor Mark Schweiker visited the site that night, said at a news briefing later that they "are in a very fragile state. We may need a little help from the Almighty." He also stated that "We are bringing every asset that is necessary to complete this rescue operation", and that anything less than the rescue of all nine of the men would be unacceptable.

As mine dewatering was progressing that would allow safe penetration of the rescue borehole, the nation and the world watched and waited, radios played at picnics during this summer weekend, and updates passed at gasoline dispensers and grocery lines. Multitudes from around the world called, emailed, and prayed in support of the rescue. The news media covered the story with hopeful reporting, as many were returning to stay at the same Somerset hotels they occupied while covering the Flight 93 crash site located ten miles away.

A new 30-inch (760 mm) bit arrived from West Virginia at 7:00 p.m. Friday, but due to its nominally larger size, the hole had to be enlarged from the surface. This operation started at approximately 8:40 p.m. on Friday. Enlarging the first rescue hole with the new 30-inch (760 mm) bit began at 1 a.m. on July 27, 2002, but later stopped to replace the sleeve. At 2:30 p.m. drilling was stopped again as the operation damaged the outer cutting bits and a new bit assembly was needed. At 3:30 a.m. a decision was made to change to a 26-inch (660 mm) bit since there was one available 7 miles south of the mine in Somerset, PA, and it would accommodate the rescue capsule. At 6:30 a.m. the installation of the new 26-inch bit was completed and drilling resumed.

One possibility that was feared at this point was that of breaking into the chamber too quickly, resulting in the water in the mine rushing upward and drowning the miners. An additional and possibly fatal danger was that of the miners being afflicted with decompression sickness, due to their breathing air which was at a higher pressure than the surface pressure, due to the pressure of the surrounding water. In preparation for these possibilities, an airlock was fashioned to go on top of the escape shaft, and on Thursday evening, 10 portable hyperbaric chambers arrived at the drilling site. Drilling continued until 1:38 p.m. on July 27, 2002, when it was stopped to install the air lock and wait for the water to be pumped down to an elevation of 1,829 feet mean sea level (“MSL”), approximately 10 feet below the portal elevation.

Drilling started again at 4:45 p.m., but at 8:11 p.m. the rings in the airlock failed and had to be repaired. At 8:58 p.m. the repairs were completed on the No. 1 drill air lock and drilling resumed. At 10 p.m. the water elevation was 1827.92 mean sea level (MSL). The No. 1 drill cut-through into the mine at 10:16 p.m. at a depth of 239.6 feet, which was then lower than the elevation of the mine’s portal.

Drilling of a second escape hole had also been underway, in case one was needed. At 7 a.m. on July 27, 2002, this hole was at a depth of 160 feet when drilling became very hard, and at 1:31 p.m. the No. 2 drill lost its bit, hammer, and reamer in the borehole at approximately 204 feet. Repairs were being made when Rescue Hole No. 1 broke through into the mine, and drilling then ceased.

After Rescue Hole No. 1 broke through into the mine, rescuers signaled the trapped miners by tapping on the 6-inch (150 mm) drill steel with a hammer, and a faint response was heard. The miners had been taking turns walking every 10 or 15 minutes 250 feet down the passageway from their high ground location to check the area where the drilling sounds were coming from. When Hileman and Foy made the trek on Saturday at about 10:15 p.m. their cap lamps were dim, but that is when they found the drill opening and Hileman alerted the others.

Immediately after the rescue hole penetrated the mine, all equipment was shut down in order to take an accurate relative air pressure reading between the mine and surface atmospheres. The pressure reading was zero, indicating that the pressures were equal and that the airlock would not be required. The compressor was turned off and the drill steels were removed from the 6-inch (150 mm) hole. At 10:53 p.m. a special pen-shaped, two-way communication device was lowered into the 6-inch air pipe, with a child's glow stick attached to it for visibility in the dark mine. Communication was established with the miners who confirmed that all nine were alive and well, except for the foreman who was experiencing chest pains.

At 12:30 a.m. on July 28, 2002, the 8½-foot high steel mesh escape capsule, with supplies, descended into Rescue Hole No. 1, into the void where the men had languished in fear and hope for 77 hours. Due to recurring chest pains, foremen Randy Fogle was chosen to be the first rescued miner, and arrived on the surface at approximately 1:00 a.m. on July 28, 2002. The removal order of the rest of the crew was based upon weight, the heaviest to lightest, as the last would have no assistance getting into the capsule. The miners were brought up in 15-minute intervals, and all nine miners were on the surface at 2:45 a.m.

None of the miners suffered from the decompression sickness, and they were transferred either by helicopter (flying at low altitudes) or by ambulance to hospitals. However, as the drill shaft had gone through an aquifer, then in their final exits the miners had been drenched in yet another torrent of cold water. Extremities were purple and mottled from immersion, and trauma surgeon Dr. Russell Dumire stated, "They were freezing cold,...It looked like if you rubbed real hard against their feet, you could rub the skin right off." The lowest body temperature among the miners was about 92.5 degrees, the warmest at 96.8, versus normal body temperature the of 98.6.[2][3][4][5]

[edit] Miners
In order of rescue:

Randall Fogle
Harry "Blaine" Mayhugh, Jr.
Thomas "Tucker" Foy
John Unger
John Phillippi
Ron Hileman
Dennis J. Hall
Robert Pugh, Jr.
Mark Popernack
Randall Fogle was the most seriously affected of the nine miners and complained of chest pains upon his rescue. All have since made full recoveries. While some are still in the industry, Fogle, however, is the only member of the group who still works underground. Dennis Hall retired from the industry and vowed never to mine again.

Thomas   October 13th, 2010 11:02 am ET

This Chilean mine rescue is such a brilliant example of a global, collaborative effort. Engineers, doctors, politicians, rescue workers, mine managers, law enforcement, families, the general public, different countries and organizations, and the trapped miners themselves all making selfless efforts to solve a crisis in an innovative and meticulously planned way. It’s a great moment for humanity.

Hamid   October 13th, 2010 11:13 am ET

Why can't we have a president like that in Iran...

Julie   October 13th, 2010 1:33 pm ET

LAYNE DRILLING COMPANY IS THE ONE THAT DRILLED THE HOLE TO RECUE THE 33 MINERS!!! My uncle, Jim Hausladen, was over the operations & took Jeff Hart out of Afghanistan 2 go 2 CHILE cuz he knew all 4 men could do it & sent them! Matt Staffel, Doug Reeves, & Jorge Herrera also all from Layne were the drillers! Layne is... in Afghan drilling wells 4 water 4 our troops! Thank you Layne & all who saved these men's lives!

It just frustrated me when Oakley even got credit, but no one knows about Layne! They have offices all over the U.S. and drill all over the world! Jeff is out of the Denver, CO office. My uncle is in the Chandler, AZ office!!! Sooo happy to see these miners back with their families! It's been sooo awesome watching this!!! Bless all of the drillers, the miners, rescuers, all who took part in this, and their familiies!!! 🙂

dedee   October 13th, 2010 1:58 pm ET

What a wonderfull story! Watching the resuce is very much like watching Man's first steps on the moon. Very emotional.

We must also remember that these miners, like miners all over this planet risk their lives so us consumers can buy a new cell phone every year.

Thanks for the coverage

Long Live Chile

Joel Pizarro   October 13th, 2010 3:23 pm ET

Hi, Larry.

What happened with Jonny Barrios, the miner whose wife and mistress are waiting outside? Hahaha

Washington Dc

SuzieQ   October 13th, 2010 7:02 pm ET

I have never had so many heroes at once. My faith in Humanity is restored. Period.

Diana Byron   October 13th, 2010 7:12 pm ET

Just realizing...their was 33 men buried in the Chile Mine, the date rescused was 10/13/10 which adds up to 33. Jesus died at the age of 33. Wouldn't it be amazing if we find out the last man to be rescured was 33.

Melody Davis   October 13th, 2010 8:43 pm ET

While watching the CNN coverage on Wednesday evening of the rescue of the mine workers, Ms. Parker made a comment that she didn't feel sorry for these men since they had book deals and interviews coming their way. This comment is offensive and insensitive to the men that unfortunately were trapped for over 69 days. It's insulting to all the people from Chile that have given so much for this rescue mission to happened instead of a recovery mission. How can she be so irresponsible to make such a comment. Could CNN, a world leader in news media, have found more respected and qualify persons to cover this once in a lifetime event than these two political commentators.

Diana   October 13th, 2010 9:07 pm ET

Indeed, this a miracle. We thank God for the miners lives!

Peggy   October 13th, 2010 9:08 pm ET

Hi Larry, let's stay with the live programing of the miners rescues till all the rescuerers are also out. They are all SO remarkable in what they did. We owe this to them and their families too.

Valarie Alderson   October 13th, 2010 9:10 pm ET

Experienced such emotions watching this rescue on CNN. It was over 50 years ago that the Springhill,Nova Scotia, Cabada mine disaster of 1958 was broadcast live by the CBC. A group of 7 miners were rescued after 6 1/2 days and then another 12 after 8 1/2 days. They were trapped in a coal mine with no food or water and the people never gave up hope of finding some alive. Unfortunately 75 lives were lost but it was a joyous occasion when those 19 were rescued. God bless the rescue workers who are the true heroes!

flacaboricuosa   October 13th, 2010 9:18 pm ET

Such a Miracle last miner rescued today 10-13-10=33(miners) God is good!!! Thanks to the Rescue Team!! Much Love!! Its is truly a miracle!!


Marv Sapeta   October 13th, 2010 9:22 pm ET

I (we) were so happy to see the last of the rescued miners brought up to the surface BUT then you dropped the ball as I understand that there were still FIVE RESCUERS lelt underground never to be seen or heard of again. I find this discraceful as they went down to help those miners knowing fully well that there was a chance that they themselves might not make it back to the earths surface. HOW CAN YOU NOT GIVE THESE 5 RESCUERS THE RECOGNITION THAT THEY ALL DESERVE. I myself find it appauling that you could drop the ball when you could have made a statement that

Angela   October 13th, 2010 9:23 pm ET

The rescue of the Chilian miners is a microcosm of what all people - the world over - want: Life, Liberty from restrictions and the right to pursue opportunities to fulfill our dreams. We want our leaders on hand to quickly assemble the resources and be there with a big smile and a hug to remind each of us of our individual worth. The world is rejoicing at the successful completion of this rescue mission, understanding the revelation that unity is possible when we put politics, lying finger-pointing politicians and greed aside. We all want world peace. Here is our model and a lesson on how to accomplish it.

MARV SAPETA   October 13th, 2010 9:28 pm ET

WHAT A JOKE, when the last miner finally appeared there were still 5 rescuers underground that still might not make it to the surface of the earth. WHO CARED ABOUT THEM?? Give them recognition for what they sacrificed and did for the effort. Marv

Diane MacCallum   October 13th, 2010 9:39 pm ET

Micheal Moore wonders why the Chilean government and people can accomplish such a wonderful feat.....the President of Chile said it best......It's a Great Day for GOD!!! The faith of the Chilean people has shone through and their unwavering belief in the Grace of God is what makes their country and their people extraordinary!

Randy Morrison   October 13th, 2010 9:53 pm ET

Larry: please tell Michael Moore that I have taken a serious interest in his docs. But this time, I'm appalled. I have a monocole for his belly button and a surgeon standing by to implant it. He has become so myopic, he needs the help. Can"t he just enjoy the moment?? US drillers helped this process!! But no, he has to turn it into something political....which I know is his life; but matybe he needs to step away from the bark of the tree and actually just be HAPPY! (Is he capable of that??)

Myrna   October 13th, 2010 10:00 pm ET

THANK YOU LARRY for having the courtesy of NOT talking during the intense rescue and allowing us to hear what the people at the mining site in Chile is saying even though it is not English the tones of the miners voices with all of the emotions what they are feeling can be felt even though it is television. The previous commentators are (Parker Spitzer especially) were NOT considerate for us viewers who wanted to listen to as well as watch the emotional and intense moments of the rescue and they talked continually over what was being said. You are the only one that understood and considered the viewers and what they would want. Some of us DO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS BEING SAID even though it is not English or the commentators do NOT understand what is being said. It is VERY frustrating to hear them reaping their comments and questions over and over again when we are trying to hear over their constant repetitive talking! THANK YOU AGAIN LARRY!

Comments have been closed for this article

Keep up to date with Larry

Follow him on Twitter

Become a fan on Facebook

Contact us
Go Behind The Scenes


LARRY KING LIVE'S Emmy-winning Senior Executive Producer Wendy Walker knows what it takes to make a great story.

With anecdotes, provocative emails, scandals, show transcripts and insights into Walker's long working relationship with Larry King, her new book PRODUCER issues readers an invitation to listen in on the most intriguing conversations on the planet.

Order from:
Barnes & Noble

King of Hearts

Larry King's King of Hearts

Saving a heart a day is the goal! Learn more about the Foundation and it's efforts to help the uninsured

Visit the Larry King Cardiac Foundation.

subscribe RSS Icon
Powered by VIP