After more than two months trapped underground, the 33 Chilean miners who have endured incomprehensible living conditions are awaiting their rescue — now, set to begin within a couple of hours. Rescuers are ready to be lowered into the depths of a mine (nearly half a mile below ground), as an estimated thousand journalists are covering the scene.
“Feuds and jealousies have emerged over who got to take part in video conferences with the miners, as well as over the issues of who is entitled to receive donated gifts and who will be allowed to meet with the miners when they get out,” the Associated Press reports.
According to NPR, it remains unknown the exact time the miners will reach the surface; however, Some officials say after midnight tonight, others say as early as 10 p.m. local time (9 p.m. EDT).
The mine collapsed Aug. 5, blocking off the main ramp.
On Aug. 22 a drill bit pierced the ceiling of the mine, allowing the men to send a note to the surface simply stating, “We are fine in the shelter, the 33 of us.”
Initially the trapped miners survived on canned fished and a jar of peaches in the shelter where they also had water and batteries. The small hole created on Aug. 22 has been used to send them food, water and other supplies and necessities
On Saturday, Oct. 9, a rescue drill finally pierced the roof of the underground mine — a huge triumph for the rescue mission.
Now family and friends patiently wait to be reunited with their loved ones.
The rescue procedure, via NPR, will go as follows:
• First down will be four rescuers, they’ll assess the miners condition and help prep them for the 15 minute winding route to the surface. Each miner will be wearing protective goggles to protect their eyes, and will be wearing bio-monitors to assess their health.
• First out will be those judged to be the most psychologically steady — in case something goes wrong on the way out. The miners will be able to disconnect the capsule and lower themselves back down if there’s an issue on the ascent.
• Next will be those with health issues. One miner has hypertension, another is diabetic, others have dental or respiratory issues, or skin lesions from months in the humid gallery where they are trapped.
Watch a recap of the miner’s story below, via CNN.