Gotta Watch: They were rescued, we watched
The Fenix 2 capsule is brought to the surface with the last trapped Chilean miner Luis Urzua from the San Jose mine, near Copiapo, Chile.
October 13th, 2011
11:40 AM ET

Gotta Watch: They were rescued, we watched

Today marks the one-year anniversary of a rescue that captivated the world's attention. On October 13, 2010, the world watched as 33 miners were brought to the surface in Chile after spending 69 days trapped more than 2,000 feet below ground.  In honor of this momentous and incredible rescue, we at Gotta Watch put together videos from other big news making rescues that we couldn't help but watch every step of the way.

Miners finally see daylight - They spent 69 days in the bowels of the earth, trapped deep below the surface.  For 17 days, nobody knew that the 33 men were alive after the San Jose Mine caved in.  The miraculous rescue of these miners made headlines around the world.  People around the globe celebrated as each and every miner was brought to safety and waited anxiously in hopes that the next miner would make it up alive. Here's your chance to relive the powerful moments from that rescue, starting from the first miner all the way to the last.

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Filed under: Chile miners trapped • Colorado • Gotta Watch • Hoax • Mine accidents • Mining • U.S.
Obama portrays small business owner as man who did 'big things'
Brandon Fisher's small business manufactured equipment used to find and rescue 33 trapped miners in Chile last year.
January 25th, 2011
11:45 PM ET

Obama portrays small business owner as man who did 'big things'

Brandon Fisher has tried to avoid the publicity that comes with playing a key role in two of the last decade's biggest mine rescues.

But when the President of the United States wants to mention you in his State of the Union speech, and the first lady invites you to sit with her, there's really no way to decline.

And so, Fisher donned a suit and tie and showed up with his wife, Julie, as guests in Michelle Obama's box during President Barack Obama's second State of the Union address to the nation.

In the eyes of the President, the small business owner from Berlin, Pennsylvania, was not just an honored guest of the evening. He was a symbol of the American dream - alongside Vice President Joe Biden, "a working class kid from Scranton" and Speaker of the House John Boehner, "who began by sweeping the floors of his father's Cincinnati bar" - someone of modest means who would go on to "do big things," Obama said.

FULL POST

November 18th, 2010
09:50 AM ET

On the Radar: Miners in U.S., Rangel punished

Miners in America - The men who survived 69 days in a Chilean mine are in Atlanta, Georgia, on their first U.S. tour since being rescued last month. The miners are on their way to Los Angeles, California, to tape "CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute," which will air on Thanksgiving.

"I want to see the world," said 27-year-old miner Richard Villarroell, who has only been to Argentina. "I know all of Chile, but not the rest of the world."

CNN Heroes brings attention to regular people around the globe who are doing significant things that improve lives. The Chileans were invited because they symbolize the resiliency and endurance of the human spirit.

Rangel punished, Murkowski claims win - Politics is making news Thursday from New York to Alaska. New York Rep. Charles Rangel will be punished by his colleagues for violating House rules. The House ethics committee meets today and could recommend anything from a fine to expulsion. In Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski has finally declared victory over fellow-Republican Joe Miller. The votes are still being counted. Murkowski would be the first write-in candidate to win a Senate race since Strom Thurmond in 1954.

Mystery bone - Investigators hope to determine Thursday whether a jawbone found on an Aruba beach belongs to an animal or a human. It's possible that the bone is from the body of Natalee Holloway, the missing American teenager. If the bone is human, authorities will attempt to find out using a DNA match whether it belongs to Holloway, who was last seen on the island in 2005. The Netherlands Forensic Institute in The Hague is examining the bone. Joran van der Sloot, the suspect in the Holloway case, is being held in Castro-Castro prison in Peru on another murder charge. Holloway's mother met with him recently.

October 18th, 2010
07:38 PM ET

Queen Elizabeth II gets a piece of Chile's national pride

President Sebastian Piñera gives Queen Elizabeth II a rock from the San Jose mine.

Judging purely by appearances, the gift from Chile's president to Elizabeth II did not seem fit for a queen.

He gave the monarch a rock. But it was not just any rock. The stone that President Sebastian Piñera brought all the way from Chile to Buckingham Palace was from the bottom of the San Jose mine, once the underground prison of 33 miners and now a symbol of Chilean national pride.

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October 17th, 2010
09:24 PM ET

Freed Chilean miners return to 'Camp Hope' for Mass

About a dozen or so of the 33 miners freed in Chile this week after spending more than two months underground returned Sunday to the mouth of the mine to offer thanks during a private Mass.

For many of the miners, it was the first time back since their dramatic Wednesday rescue that was watched by the world.

Just the miners, their families and a handful of local officials were invited to attend the service.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Chile • Chile miners trapped • Mine accidents • Religion
October 14th, 2010
10:04 PM ET

Several miners released from Chilean hospital

Several of the 33 miners who were rescued this week from the San Jose mine in Chile were released from Chile's Copiapo Regional Hospital on Thursday night.

CNN Chile showed footage of at least two miners being taken away from the hospital in cars. The hospital did not release any information about how many miners and which ones left the hospital Thursday night.

The miners were trapped about 2,300 feet below the surface for more than two months after a collapse of the mine on August 5. A small stash of food and liquid kept the 33 alive in a refuge for the 17 days that rescuers took to establish contact, after which more supplies were sent down. After a rescue shaft was drilled, a capsule lifted the miners to safety, one-by-one, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Filed under: Chile • Chile miners trapped
October 14th, 2010
03:37 PM ET

Online game surfaces based on Chilean mine rescue

Not even a day has passed since 33 miners were freed from a Chilean mine, and already there is an online game based on the epic rescue.

"Los 33" lets users rescue the miners one-by-one, just as in real life, by taking control of a red, white and blue metal rescue capsule bearing the Chilean flag.

FULL POST

October 14th, 2010
11:20 AM ET

Hospital may release most of Chilean miners today

COPIAPO, Chile (CNN) -  Most of the 33 recently rescued miners in Chile may be released from the hospital Thursday afternoon, a hospital official said.

Dr. Jorge Montes, assistant director of the Copiapo Hospital, said the miners generally are doing quite well. Some of the men suffered skin conditions, which was expected, given the high temperature and humidity in which they lived for the last two months.

Three miners had dental surgeries on Wednesday and are doing well, the doctor said, and another miner with an ulcer to the retina in one of  his eyes was successfully treated but the lesion may take some time to heal.
"All of them were subjected to high levels of stress.  The majority has endured it in a noteworthy manner.  Some are suffering from minor complications, but nothing to worry about," Montes said.  "They are happy after having spent a good night."

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Filed under: Chile • Chile miners trapped • World
October 13th, 2010
08:19 PM ET

Last miner scheduled to emerge is group's captain

Luis Urzua entered the San Jose mine last August as a shift supervisor, intending to command his miners for about 12 hours. Sixty-nine days after a collapse trapped him and 32 others, he’s left as the man whose direction helped keep the group alive.

Urzua, 54, was the last of the 33 miners to be taken out of the mine in a rescue capsule, about a day after the first was rescued. He volunteered to stay in the miners' refuge 2,300 below the surface until all his men were safe.

As shift foreman, Urzua assumed command and control of the underground world that he and 32 fellow miners lived in since the collapse. His instructions to his men in the hours after the collapse - among them, to ration the little food and liquid that they had in a small refuge - are credited with keeping the group alive during the 17 days it took for rescuers to locate them with a probe and start sending them supplies.

He also kept the miners on 12-hour shifts and mapped out the area that was still accessible, dividing the space into work, sleep and sanitary areas, the Guardian newspaper reported.

"[He] is a leader in his field and has been for ages," Dr. Andreas llarena of the Chilean navy told the Guardian in September. "For a miner, their shift leader is sacred and holy. They would never think about replacing him. That is carved in stone - it is one of the commandments in the life of a miner."

Urzua told the Guardian for a story a few days ago that each miner played a part to keep the group functioning while it awaited rescue.

"We had to be strong, all the workers in the mine fulfilled their roles, as journalists, as spokesmen, and we worked hard for our own rescue," Urzua said.

His voice was the first that rescuers heard after verbal contact was made with the trapped miners in August. “We are well and hoping that you will rescue us," he said.

On Wednesday night with the entire world watching, his wish came true.

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Filed under: Chile • Chile miners trapped
October 13th, 2010
01:00 PM ET

Wednesday's intriguing people

Condoleezza Rice

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is making the rounds today, promoting her first memoir. “Extraordinary, Ordinary People” is the story of Rice’s upbringing in Birmingham, Alabama.

She has been sharing her thoughts about civil rights and politics, and USA Today captured on video another side of the former secretary.

Television: She watches a “little bit of news” and was a big fan of “V” when it ran on ABC. She also likes “American Idol,” though “Without Simon Cowell, I’m not sure it’s going to be so much fun,” she said. You won’t see her on “Dancing with the Stars” anytime soon. “That’s a real possibility for humiliation,” she said.

Music: The classical pianist is big on Brahms, Mozart and Beethoven, as well as Motown and R&B. Yet she has a special place for “hard, hard, hard rock like Led Zeppelin and Cream.” “Black Dog” is her favorite Led Zeppelin song.

FULL POST

October 12th, 2010
09:20 PM ET

On the scene: Chileans gather to watch rescue, history

Chileans are gathering in droves to watch rescue coverage.

In between cheers of celebration in the city plaza of Copiapo, Chile, on Tuesday night, you can hear a pin drop.

Thousands of Chileans have gathered in Copiapo, one of the closest city centers to the San Jose mine site, to witness a live feed of the rescue efforts of the 33 trapped miners.

An enormous projection screen was erected in the plaza. It switches between Chilean cable television outlets, all focused entirely on the mine rescue. Vendors sell Chilean flags and banners reading celebratory sentiments such as  "Fuerza Mineros," or "strength to the miners."

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Filed under: Chile • Chile miners trapped
October 11th, 2010
10:34 PM ET

The day's most popular stories

The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.

Toll on miners' body a concern: As the world awaits the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners from a copper mine, medical concerns arise. Some of the men have shown signs of anxiety and some have had minor cardiac issues, a Chilean official said. But there's also concern about what the isolation and confinement could do to their eyes, and their stomachs.

Hershel Walker is still a beast: For a long time, college football legend and Heisman Trophy winner Hershel Walker has been somewhat of a physical freak of nature.  "I'm in better shape than I've ever been in," said Walker, who's creeping toward 50 years old. Somethings never change.

Oprah Winfrey blasts verdict: The talk show maven said she was not satisfied with the acquittal of a woman accused of abusing students at her South African girls school. Tiny Virginia Makopo, 30, was found not guilty of allegations that she improperly touched several teenage girls when she was a matron at the campus near Johannesburg, the South African Press Association reported Monday.

Now you too can have more fun - in the sun: A Lithuanian firm called Olialia - pronounced "ooh-la-la" - has announced that it intends to build a resort in the Maldives that will employ blonde women only.

Cops: Boyfriend's arrest cracks cold case: More than a decade after high school sophomore Leah Freeman vanished from the street near her home in Coquille, Oregon, police say they have found her killer. A grand jury concluded it was her boyfriend, after police looked into the cold case a second time.

October 11th, 2010
09:55 PM ET

Weather another potential obstacle for miners

Hot, dry days (including foggy mornings) and bitterly cold nights await the miners when they reach the surface.

After two months of darkness, the first of the 33 miners that breach the surface of the rescue shaft in northern Chile will be in for another shock: searing heat or numbing cold.

Located in the heart of the Atacama desert, the San José mine site experiences dry heat during the day under often cloudless skies, opposed by bitter cold at night - a typical daily dynamic in northern Chile's spring season. FULL POST

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Filed under: Chile • Chile miners trapped • Crime
October 11th, 2010
08:04 PM ET

Liberation for Chilean miners possibly just a day away

Final preparations are made Monday in the remote Chilean desert to rescue 33 miners.

The first of 33 Chilean miners who have inspired the world with their calm bravery and perseverance might be just be hours away from being plucked from the depths of the Earth.

"We are hoping to initiate the rescue beginning at zero hours on
Wednesday," or 11 p.m. ET Tuesday,  Laurence Golborne, Chile's mining minister, said. They've been trapped there since August 5. It wasn't learned until August 22 that the 33 were safely holed up in a small refuge deep in the mine.

The anticipated rescue will involve the delicate maneuvering of equipment with an emphasis on protecting the miners' health.

If all goes as planned, a rescue capsule called Phoenix 1 will be lowered about 2,040 feet (622 meters) down a 28-inch wide shaft at 11 p.m. ET.

FULL STORY ON RESCUE PLANS

One rescuer and one paramedic will be lowered down into the mine first to prepare the men for transport to the surface.

At 5 p.m. ET, about  six hours before the rescue starts, the miners will be switched to a diet of liquids, vitamins and minerals ahead of their trip to the surface.  Each trip is expected to take about 15 minutes.

MORE ON THE HEALTH PREPARATIONS

The change in diet is one way that officials are trying to mitigate some
of the challenges associated with the rescue. These include concern about the miners feeling lonely, dizzy or panicked while being lifted through the narrow shaft.

If all goes according to plan, the rescued miners will undergo about two hours of  health checks at a field hospital at the mine site. They will then be flown by helicopter to a hospital in the town of Copiapo.

CNN and CNN.com will carry live feeds from the rescue site when they begin.

PANORAMA OF MINE SITE


Filed under: Chile • Chile miners trapped
October 9th, 2010
10:57 AM ET

Trapped miners' names and ages

Here are the names and ages of the 33 men trapped 2,300 feet below ground in a mine in Chile. A rescue drill broke through to them Saturday morning; they should be pulled out within a few days.

Click here for an extensive interactive graphic with the miners' photos and an explanation of the accident and rescue operation.

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Filed under: Chile miners trapped • World
October 9th, 2010
08:17 AM ET

Drillers break through to Chile mine

A rescue drill has pierced the roof of an underground mine in Chile where 33 men have been trapped since August 5. Sirens went off at the mine site in Copiapo, Chile, signaling the breakthrough.

Read the full story here.

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Filed under: Chile miners trapped • World
September 17th, 2010
02:10 PM ET

'Bore hole' reaches trapped miners in Chile

A bore hole reached 33 trapped Chilean miners Friday, officials said, but it must be widened before miners can squeeze through - a process that should take a few weeks.

Read the full story on CNN.com

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Filed under: Chile miners trapped
September 7th, 2010
09:49 AM ET

NASA to share tips to maintain trapped miners' mental and physical health

NASA teams usually use their knowledge to help astronauts many miles above the earth's surface. But on Tuesday, a group of experts from the U.S. space agency will share their advice for the 33 miners who have been trapped 2,300 feet underground in Chile since August 5.

Interactive: Explore the mine collapse in Chile

"It's an opportunity for us to bring the space flight experience back down to the ground," Dr. Michael Duncan, the deputy chief medical officer at Johnson Space Center, said before NASA's four-person team left for Chile last month.

The team includes two medical doctors, a psychologist and an engineer.

FULL STORY

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Filed under: Chile miners trapped
September 5th, 2010
07:59 AM ET

Crash survivors' message for Chilean miners: 'Don't give up'

For months, the men waited in isolation, struggling to survive. They forced themselves to eat the flesh of dead friends to sustain themselves.

The Uruguayan rugby players whose plane crashed in the Andes Mountains 38 years ago inspired the book and movie "Alive." On Saturday, four of them shared a message with the 33 miners who have been trapped underground in Chile for a month.

"Don't give up," former rugby player Moncho Sabella said. "You have a marvelous team working for you."

"We thank you as Chilean workers, and hope to be able to give you a hug later," he said.

Read the complete story on  CNN.com

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Filed under: Chile • Chile miners trapped • World