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."

Children run in front of the screen waving flags and signs, joining in the occasional chant.

Vendors are selling horns - reminiscent of the vuvuzela, and people are buying them up and going crazy whenever something happens.

Cheers erupt when news announcers read a list of the order of miners to be rescued. But at times, the only thing you can hear is the audio from the government video feed, showing workers making final connections to the rescue capsule.

Being here, it's hard not to occasionally stop and just watch along with the crowd - a crowd that seems to grow by the hour, gathering to watch a momentous event in the country's recent history. This story  has grabbed the world's attention and held on tight.

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Filed under: Chile • Chile miners trapped
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Sue

    Wishing the miners and rescue workers Godspeed.

    October 12, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      I am praying for all of them. My brother died underground here in Australia. I have worked underground also. Magnificent effort from all over the world. God bless their safe journey to the light

      October 13, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Trish

    May God's hand rest upon this tremendous rescue effort.

    October 12, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Courtney

    Praying here in washington state!!! I hope they all make it to there family~!

    October 12, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reverend McNeil

      God Bless you for praying, Courtney. I am a Minister and I enjoy my work with people and praying for them. I was sitting in my chair asking God to help with these huge operation. I got inspired and I thought of St. Michael the Archangel. I asked this mighty Archangel to look after all the miners. My exact words were:

      Amen, Amen. Oh my beloved God, my Holy, Holy Spirit. I ask God's favor to command the Archangel Michael to go to the sight of the mine with his ligion of the angels God put under his command and to minister to the miners. These men are honest men, God. They work hard to keep their families safe and fed. I ask you go with each miner in the Phoenix 1 so they can keep calm and think lovely thoughts and prayers and think of the happiness and miracle God has bestowed upon them. I bless them in their absence and ask God that no psychological or physical harm comes to them in the after math of this ordeal. When I say the name of Jesus, all of these poor words will come to pass. Amen, Amen.
      Reverend McNeil

      October 13, 2010 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Loulou

    Great team effort! Go Chile! Thanks USA for the drilling experts! Get them up safely!

    October 12, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tony

    Congratulation to all involved in the rescue, as well as every Chilean citizen. We are proud of you.

    October 12, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Randye Summers

    Jah Blessings to all the miners & the families

    October 12, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Larry

    Long ago I lived in Copiapo and remember with much affection the brave and hardworking miners of Chile and their families. Saludos to the rescue team...the whole world sends our hopes and prayers for a safe rescue.

    October 12, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nadine

    Good luck to the miners I hope they are brought home safely to their loved ones. Kudos to all the great people working hard to bring them back.

    October 12, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. concerned grandma

    Good bless all who worked with hope for the impossible in their hearts. I want to learn more about this wonderful country, Chile. Our world needed just such an event to all pull for a happy ending. God speed to all.

    October 12, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kirban

    From Pakistan, congratulations to the people of Chile. My tango dance teacher was from Chile, the nicest woman. Please dont let these pathetic amerikans take any credit for this.

    October 12, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • PF

      Thank you for your words of hatred. They are necessary to further endear you to the world.

      Love, Amerika!

      And thank you for the development in Pachistan of drilling technology, computers, telephone/telegraph, internet, cell phones and everything else you use to spread your "love".

      October 13, 2010 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Kirban, please. This is a time for unity and celebration. Not hatred. I am from Australia. All of our countries have worked hard to rescue these men. Wishing u peace

      October 13, 2010 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. Praise the Lord

    Thank you Lord for all the workers that brought about this wonderful rescue! Thank you for all the courageous miners that survived this.

    October 12, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Praise the Lord

    To kirban, it doesn't matter a whit who gets credit for the rescue. I don't think anyone wants credit for it. I ive credit to the miners who kept good spirits and survived the terrible ordeal.

    October 12, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Madeline

    I rejoice as the miners are rescued. It is obvious that the Chilean people are warm and caring. It makes me want to visit Chile and learn about the culture. When I visit Chile, it will be my second visit to South America, and I look forward to it. Best wishes for the miners and their families!

    October 12, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. susan walters

    Well done Chile! Much more impressive than what we seem to be able to accomplish in recent years. God Speed to all 33 and their families. It must be incredibly hard to be waiting a turn.

    October 13, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Praise

    My husband is a miner, I can't imagine the emotions they are feeling...my heart is pounding. Tears of joy thank you Lord! God will bring the rest of the miners out safe! We are praying for the miners and rescue term in the USA! God bless them! I would like to think the crowd that is standing and waiting for the miners. God guide them in these last hours! Praise the Lord!

    October 13, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
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