By Andrew Gibson
Family and friends are now counting down as the release of the Chilean miners is set to take place this week. The 33 men have been trapped in the collapsed St. Jose mine shaft since August 5th when a rock fall sealed the entrance, capturing them in a confined space 700 metres underground.
Loved ones are waiting anxiously at Camp Hope, where any news is good news. Engineers are currently reinforcing the rescue shaft, which will be used to return them to their families, possibly as soon as Wednesday. The three rescue capsules are ready and waiting for the drilling to be completed then the rescue will begin. A trained medic will be sent in the first capsule to help the first miner begin the ascent to freedom. Once they reach the surface, the men will go through a series of medical checks, see their loved ones and be immediately transferred to hospital. It is expected that it will take around an hour to bring each miner to the surface, meaning it will take a day and half to complete the rescue mission as long as there are no problems. Rescue teams and medics are worried about eye damage and dark glasses will be provided to protect them from the harsh sunlight as they emerge.
It’s reported that the miners are currently relaxed and in good spirits. The concerns now are for the emotional welfare of the men and how they will cope with the aftermath. As excitement builds, the whole world is watching.