All the 33 Chilean miners who have been trapped for 69 days in the San Jose mine in the country’s northern city of Copiapo have been hauled to safety.
Luis Urzua Iribarren, 54 is the last man who was pulled out to surface. He was the head of a shift when the mine collapsed on August 5.
Juan Carlos Aguilar Gaete, 49 is the 29th who saw the light of another day. He was the supervisor for one of the three shifts at the mine.
Richard Villarroel Godoy, 27, is the 28th miner who can breath again. He was welcomed by his family.
Franklin Lobos Ramirez, 53, became the 27th miner to reach the surface who was welcomed by family. He is a former professional soccer player in a Chilean league.
The seventeenth miner rescued was a 56-year-old electrician named Omar Reygadas who helped organize life underground.
Daniel Herrera, 37, was a truck driver and taxi driver was rescued miner number 16.
The 15th miner, Victor Segovia, successfully made the half-mile trip to the surface, cheered by joyous observers after the rescue operation of Victor Zamora, the 14th survivor.
Carlos Barrios, 27, became the 13th miner to reach the surface, almost 14 hours after the rescue capsule dubbed “Phoenix” pulled the first miner to freedom.
He was said to be in good health.
Florencio Avalos was the first to reach the surface soon after midnight on Wednesday and was met by his weeping 7-year-old son Bairon.
Celebrations erupted across the country as the 31-year-old emerged safely in a breathtaking rescue operation.
The second miner, Mario Sepulveda, also reached the surface a while later.
Sepulveda told reporters that the ordeal was the hardest thing he had ever faced in his life, adding that his faith helped him get through it.
“I was with God, and I was with the devil,” he said through a translator. “But God won, I held onto God’s hand, the best hand, and at no point in time … did I doubt that God wouldn’t get me out of there.”
52-year-old Juan Illanes was the third to reach the surface amidst a cheering crowd of officials and relatives of the miners. He called the approximately 16-minute journey to the surface a “cruise.”
Rescuers also winched 23-year-old Bolivian miner Carlos Mamani to the surface shortly afterwards.
Bolivian President Evo Morales was on-hand to greet Mamani, who is originally from Bolivia and had been working in the San Jose mine for only five days when the accident happened.
”This is a historic event. We Bolivian authorities are grateful for the effort that Chileans made,” President Morales said.
Nineteen-year-old Jimmy Sanchez, the youngest of the 33 miners, was the fifth man who made it to the surface less than an hour later.
Thirty-year-old Osman Araya was the sixth miner who was rescued from under the ground followed by Jose Ojeda as the seventh miner who was rescued from the dungeon.
Rescue efforts could not be accelerated as only one miner at a time could be winched out.
Thirty-four-year-old Claudio Yanez became the eighth mine worker to have survived the entrapment in the Chilean mine, followed by 63-year-old Mario Gomez.
Jorge Galleguillos, 56, became the 11th worker to leave the half-mile-deep gold and copper mine under the Atacama desert, while Edison Pena, 34, became the twelfth man to emerge around 8:15 am local time.
According to reports, the operation has been estimated to take at least two days before the last miner could be rescued.
Meanwhile, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, who was present at the site, hailed the rescue efforts and said, “This won’t be over until all 33 are out.”
“Hopefully the spirit of these miners will remain forever with us,” he added.
The miners were trapped in a small chamber on August 5, when the mine collapsed and the exit was blocked.
The men were feared dead for weeks. However, on August 22, they attached a note to a drill probe that had broken through to the chamber where they had taken shelter, saying they were all alive, well and awaiting rescue.