After 68 days trapped more than 2,000 feet in a small dark and hot shelter, the longest anyone has survived this type of disaster. The first of 33 trapped miners will be hoisted to freedom Tuesday night.  The 32 Chilean miners and 1 Bolivian miner have survived an Aug. 5 mine collapse that trapped the men in their tiny shelter, the size of an average living room.

The drillers have finally completed the escape shaft, and have tested the 14 foot escape capsule that has been dubbed, The Phoenix, several times.  It is equipped with a communications system, oxygen supply and safety harness.  The government said four members of the rescue team, two engineers and two medics will be lowered down the shaft first to assist in the operation and to evaluate the physical and mental state of the miners. The journey to the surface is expected to take between 25 to 50 minutes, and the men will be hooked up to oxygen tanks with 90 minutes of air. They will also wear special glasses to shield their eyes from the sensitivity to light after being in the darkness for so long. If a miner becomes stuck, an escape hatch at the bottom of the capsule will open, drawing the miner back down to the chamber.  

The miners will be formed into three groups – the medium strength miners will be released first, the weakest second, and the strongest last.   If any of the men in the group becomes too terrified to make the claustrophobic journey, they will be sedated before they make the trip to the surface.

The first to be rescued will be 31 year old Florencio Avalos, who is relatively healthy despite his ordeal The last miner out will be Luis Urzua, 54, who was the shift foreman when the mine collapsed, and has been the person to keep order and unity in the chamber and showed true leadership during the ordeal.

The men will be taken to a hospital and observed for 48 hours before being reunited with family.  As the world awaits for their heroic rescue. We will keep them in our prayers.

God speed for a safe journey out of the mines!

  Still shot from video released by Chilean Mining Ministry shows rescuers testing capsule before attempting rescue of 33 miners trapped at San Jose mine near Copiapo, 800 km north of Santiago on Octobe   

 And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards,

Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI

2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900


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