The first miner pulled from Chilean mine after 69 days

Florencio Avalos, left, in protective dark glasses. He and 32 others have been trapped since 8/5/2010.

31 year old Florencio Avalos, the first of 33 miners to be rescued, surfaces after 69 days underground.

The Blaze
11:11 pm EDT

SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) — Florencio Avalos, the first of 33 miners to be rescued, surfaces after 69 days underground.

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At CAJ, we’ve spent the entire evening watching the live feed at We continue to pray for the safety of each miner and rescue worker as the operation continues over the next 30-36 hours. The photo on this page is from

Update: Chronicle of Rescue /Interactive

Update 2: DrewM at Ace of Spades HQ has spent time in Chile and blogged last night during the rescue. He has some interesting observations about the process of getting the rescue efforts to this point. Initial reports in late August were that the men would not be rescued until Christmas. DrewM’s observations may explain why, thankfully, it hasn’t taken that long:

…I spent some time in Chile a few years ago and love the place. The people I met were wonderful and uniformly very pro-American. Chileans very much want to be thought of as a serious country and a good partner to major nations.

In addition, Chilean President Sebastian Piñera consciously internationalized the rescue effort. The powerful cable that will pull the Phoenix was made in Germany. The ultra-flexible fiber-optic line the miners use to communicate with rescuers was made in Japan. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration provided design requirements for the capsule. Technology or laborers from Canada, Australia and the U.S. were involved in drilling three shafts that could be used to extract the men. Jeff Hart, the 40-year-old drill operator from Denver who ran the rig that was the first to break through to the miners last Saturday, has quickly become a folk hero in Chile.

They are going to be very proud of what they’ve accomplished in this rescue. I imagine lots of partying (Chileans love to party) will follow this rescue.

Don’t forget Chile also suffered from a major earthquake earlier this year. Their free market economy weathered that disaster rather well.

Seriously, it’s a great place. If you are looking for a place to get warm in the winter (they are on opposite seasons), consider Chile.

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