October 13th, 2010
01:15 PM ET

Midway through Chile rescue: 17 miners reach freedom

Editor's note: CNN.com is streaming live from beginning to end the rescue attempts at a Chilean mine where 33 men have been trapped since August 5.  Also, watch live coverage on CNN TV. Click here for full coverage of the Chile mine disaster.

Follow our minute-by-minute updates on the second half of the Chile mine rescues here.

[Updated at 1:13 p.m. ET, 2:13 p.m. Chile time] The capsule has been sent back down the rescue chamber and Esteban Rojas is expected to be the next man lifted out of the mine.

Chile's mining minister Laurence Golborne briefs the press midway through the rescue efforts.

[Updated at 12:54 p.m. ET, 1:54 p.m. Chile time] Chile's mining minister Laurence Golborne said they have to do some maintenance on the door because of wear and tear from sending it up and down - but there are no major problems with the rescue capsule.

"It is difficult to open and close but it is still working," he said, adding that he expects the capsule to be sent down for the next miner shortly.

Golborne praised all of the work that had been done so far to rescue the seventeen miners - faster than anticipated.

"We are already half way through," he said. "We haven't had any single incident within this rescue process."

Golborne said that there are five rescue workers currently down in the mine - and one more will be sent down in the next few hours. They will decide who that will be soon, he said.

He added he hoped the entire rescue mission would be completed by the end of the day. The plan is for the rest of the miners to be brought up one-by-one, followed by the rescue workers. The sixth worker, who hasn't yet been sent down, will be the final one to be brought up, Golborne said.

"Up until now we feel really satisfied with the teamwork," Golborne said.

Still, Golborne said, "We won't be fully satisfied" everyone is rescued.

[Updated at 12:43 p.m. ET, 1:43 p.m. Chile time] The rescue capsule is still sitting above ground and hasn't been sent back down the chamber for the next miner, but we haven't heard if there's an official reason as to why.

We can see rescue workers and engineers fiddling with the door to the chamber, having someone go inside, and working on closing it. It is unclear if there has been any problem, or if it is just time for some scheduled maintenance to reinforce the door.  Either way, this turnaround has taken a bit longer than earlier.

Omar Reygadas knelt in prayer with his brother after being rescued.

[Updated at 12:39 p.m. ET, 1:39 p.m. Chile time] Omar Reygadas exited the rescue capsule with a wide smile to the tune of cheers from rescue workers and his brother and family.

He was donning a blue hard hat with the word "Vive," meaning "live," scribbled on it.

Reygadas then knelt to the ground and prayed as he raised a bible in hand towards the sky. As he was being taken away on a  stretcher for medical examination he raised and waved a flag with his name on it.

[Updated at 12:37 p.m. ET, 1:37 p.m. Chile time] 56-year-old Omar Reygadas has emerged as the seventeenth miner to be rescued from the Chilean mine.

As Reygadas made the ascent in the rescue chamber his brother stood nearby videotaping the efforts and messages of praise and congratulations from rescue workers.

Reygadas was originally a bulldozer operator, but following the mine collapse he has taken on duties as the foreman of one of the work shifts.

During his time trapped underground his children have kept a journal of their life above ground - something we're sure he's likely to want to read as he catches up and reunites with his family after more than two months.

[Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET, 1:10 p.m. Chile time] President Barack Obama watched television news coverage of the operation to rescue miners in Chile on Tuesday night and saw it as a "tremendously inspirational story," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday.

[Updated at 11:57 a.m. ET, 12:57 p.m. Chile time] The rescue capsule has been sent back down to the mine. 56-year-old Omar Reygadas is expected to be the next miner to make his journey to freedom.

[Updated at 11:52 a.m. ET, 12:52 p.m. Chile time] We are about at the midpoint of the rescues in Chile. So far sixteen miners have been rescued and 17 remain underground awaiting their ride up to freedom along with a few rescue workers who will exit last.

If you're just catching up, or want to take a look back, here are some of the highlights of what's transpired during the rescues and the miners' reactions from the first 13 hours and 30 minutes of the rescue.

[Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET, 12:50 p.m. Chile time] After exiting the rescue capsule Daniel Herrera and workers erupted into a Chile chant. He then went directly to hug and kiss his mother Alicia Campos.

He cried as workers clapped for him as he was escorted to be checked out by doctors.

Daniel Herrera hugs his mother Alicia Campos.

[Updated at 11:48 a.m. ET, 12:48 p.m. Chile time] Daniel Herrera, 27, is the sixteenth miner to be rescued from the underground mine near San Jose.

His mother, Alicia Campos, had been hugging rescue workers as she waited for her son to make the long trip. She wiped tears from behind her sunglasses and clapped as the rescue chamber came up from underground.

Herrera started his work as a truck driver, but is now acting as a paramedic assistant, taking on some medical duties in the mine since the collapse.

[Updated at 11:12 a.m. ET, 12:12 a.m. Chile time] It appears another rescue worker has been sent down in the rescue chamber. Unless a different rescue worker will be swapped out, the next person expected to make the journey up is 27-year-old Daniel Herrera.

Victor Segovia embraces a family member after exiting the rescue capsule.

[Updated at 11:02 a.m. ET, 12:02 a.m. Chile time] Victor Segovia has emerged from the underground mine as the fifteenth man to be rescued.

Segovia gave a thumbs up and hugged a family member before repeatedly saying thank you to Chile's president for their determination to help rescue them.

"Congratulations and may God be with you," Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said.

Segovia then hugged and said thank you to Bolivia's president and walked around to thank all of the rescue workers.

The 48-year-old, who has been dubbed the "writer" of the group,  kept a journal of his experiences while trapped in the mine for more than two months. Those updates, and separate notes, helped let rescuers above ground stay informed about the surroundings in the mine and the miners conditions - both physically and emotionally.

He has five children and has worked as a miner since before he was 18.

[Updated at 10:55 a.m. ET, 11:50 a.m. Chile time] Family reunions are continuing to happen for the already-rescued miners. Video inside a building where the families are waiting to meet the miners shows several family members in tears embracing their loved ones - some shaking their heads and holding on so tight as if they won't ever let go again.

[Updated at 10:48 a.m. ET, 11:48 a.m. Chile time] Victor Segovia is headed into the rescue capsule. This will be what the view looks like for him on the way up:

[Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET, 11:40 a.m. Chile time] The rescue capsule is now being sent down to retrieve the fifteenth miner - expected to be Victor Segovia.

An emotional Victor Zamora hugs Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

[Updated at 10:36 a.m. ET, 11:36 a.m. Chile time] Victor Zamora emerged from the capsule to cheers from the crowd. His wife continued to wipe tears from her face as he was unhooked from the harnesses.

He then kissed his wife and hugged her for a lengthy time, holding on tight and rubbing her back and hair. Zamora then blew a kiss to the crowd before being taken for medical evaluation.

While he was on the stretcher he reached up to hug Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, who grasped his hand and offered him words of hope, telling him he could now go back and enjoy life with his family. Zamora, his lip quivering as he spoke to the president, wiped tears from his face over his sunglasses. Bolivian President Evo Morales offered the same thanks and congratulations.

Victor Zamora hugs his wife after being rescued.

[Updated at 10:28 a.m. ET, 11:28 a.m. Chile time] Victor Zamora, the fourteenth miner, has just emerged from the rescue capsule.

Jessica Cortez, his wife, and their child stood nearby tearful, but with wide smiles on their face as they waited for him to emerge. A rescue worker reached down and swapped hard hats with Zamora's son as he was being pulled to the surface.

Cortez put her hand over her mouth and tears began to stream down her face at the sight of her husband.

Zamora followed after his close friend Carlos Barrios who was rescued about 40 minutes ago. Zamora, 33, is a carrier pigeon handler and poet. Zamora didn't spend too much time regularly inside the mine, working mostly as a vehicle mechanic.

He and his wife Jessica Cortez are expecting a daughter in a few months and they now plan to name the baby Paz Victoria, meaning Peace Victory, if it is a girl. He and his wife moved to the mine after he lost his job when an earthquake in Talcahuano destroyed the area.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, left, and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera tell the media about their interactions with the miners.

[Updated at 10:18 a.m. ET, 11:18 a.m. Chile time] Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said each rescue is taking about 40 minutes and they are able to rescue about three miners every two hours. That means, Pinera said, if no other problems come up the rescues could end in about seven or eight hours - much earlier than anticipated.

Pinera said he has taken the time and spoken to each of the already-rescued miners

"They told us the first five days were really anxious-ridden, they didn't know what was happening on the surface," Pinera said. "But when they heard the drilling, they realized the country had not abandoned them."

Pinera said the miners told him that noise alone gave them a sense of release - and when contact was made for the first time, the miners knew for sure the country was behind them.

He added that many relayed the experience of being stuck underground had changed all of their lives and for many it gave "a new meaning to their life."

[Updated at 10:11 a.m. ET, 11:11 a.m. Chile time] Bolivian President Evo Morales and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera are holding a press conference near the site of the mine.

Morales said he hopes to return to his country with rescued Bolivian miner Carlos Mamani, depending on his condition.

"Bolivians will never forget" the accident and rescue, Morales said, thanking Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

"This incident is uniting us more and more every day," Morales said.

One of the rescued Chilean miners told Morales upon seeing him, "We took care of (Mamani)," the president recounted.

Pinera said the rescues were a symbol that life had triumphed over fear and death.

"I am more convinced than ever that the greatest wealth of our country is not copper - but our miners," Pinera said.

"You never surrendered, you never gave up, and today we are harvesting the results," he said. "I know last night there were tears in every household in Chile, tears of joy."

Pinera praised the miners for showing the country how to endure and thanked the rescue workers for "carrying out a rescue that seemed impossible."

"Today october 13, 2010 - 33 has become a magic number," Pinera said.

[Updated at 9:57 a.m. ET, 10:57 a.m. Chile time] Next up for rescue: Victor Zamora. He follows the rescue of his friend Carlos Barrios. The pair have worked in several mines together before and their families have shared a tent at the Camp Hope site.

Workers are now preparing to send the capsule back down to get Zamora.

Carlos Barrios, like the other miners, is taken on a stretcher to have a medical evaluation.

[Updated at 9:52 a.m. ET, 10:52 a.m. Chile time] Carlos Barrios has just emerged from the mine in the rescue capsule, making him the thirteenth of 33 miners to be rescued.

Family members clapped and cheered in the direction of the capsule as they waited for him to exit.

Barrios waved to the crowd and then hugged and kissed waiting family members.

Barrios, 27, began mining only 10 months ago.  He has a 5-year-old son and is an avid fanatic soccer fan and player.

[Updated at 9:42 a.m. ET, 10:42 a.m. Chile time] CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports the miners will occupy the 2nd and 4th floors of the Copiapó Regional Hospital.

Neighborhood residents walked around the quiet streets looking at the phalanx of media that had invaded the area around the hospital.

A Spanish cameraman wandered from media outlet to media outlet trying to get someone to lend him a camera. His cam had stayed behind at the mine last night after officials shut the one road in and out of the mine. Any car lights on the road, the rescue officials said, could counter the helicopter pilots night vision goggles as they ferried the miners to the waiting doctors.

[Updated at 9:39 a.m. ET, 10:39 a.m. Chile time] As workers prepared to rescue Barrios, his family members saw him on a screen enter the capsule and began clapping at the thought that it will only be mere minutes before they can see him. The other miners and rescue workers also cheered him on as the capsule went up towards the surface.

[Updated at 9:19 a.m. ET, 10:19 a.m. Chile time] The rescue chamber is being sent back down to the mine - this time with another rescue worker inside. Carlos Barrios, the foreman, is the next miner expected to be brought to the surface.

Edison Peña hugs his wife after being rescued from the mine.

[Updated at 9:13 a.m. ET, 10:13 a.m. Chile time] Edison Peña waved to the crowd as he walked out of the rescue chamber.

"Thank God we're alive," he said as he became the 12th miner to reach the surface. "I know now why we're alive."

"Please take a picture, please," he said, as he greeted his wife for the first time.

[Updated at 9:10 a.m. ET, 10:10 a.m. Chile time] The 12th miner, Edison Peña, has reached the top of the rescue chamber.

Peña, 34, also sent a request for music while he was down in the mine because of his love for music - especially Elvis. While trapped underground he led the group of 33 miners in sing-a-longs. He has reportedly also been running 10km a day underground in the available space.

Angelica Alvarez, his wife, stood by with a video camera in hand, pointed at the area where her husband would arrive after more than two months underground. She cried and clasped her hands as the capsule reached the surface.

A video image shows the chamber that miners inside the rescue capsule goes through during the rescue.

[Updated at 8:54 a.m. ET, 9:54 a.m. Chile time] The rescue capsule has reached the bottom of the mine and Edison Peña is expected to be miner number 12 to be lifted to the surface.

[Updated at 8:35 a.m. ET, 9:35 a.m. Chile time] A bearded Jorge Galleguillos came out of the chamber to a chant of  "sing galleta" - a play on his last name and a reference to his request to sing and play the guitar when he was trapped in the mine.

After exiting the chamber he met one of his brothers, who he shared a long hug with. His brother held tight - and continued patting him on the back.

He then hugged both of the presidents of Chile and Bolivia and rescuers who were there awaiting his arrival. A Bolivian miner trapped inside the mine, Carlos Mamani, was rescued in the early morning.

[Updated at 8:28 a.m. ET, 9:28 a.m. Chile time] The eleventh miner, Jorge Galleguillos, has reached the top of the chamber and been rescued.

Galleguillos, who has been working in mining for 16 years, has had two previous work related accidents. But his family portrayed him as a man who loves mining - and regularly collects stones, minerals and rocks from the areas where he works. He had said in a previous video message that he was not feeling well in the mine, and he is on medication for hypertension.

Down in the mine, he was known as the "folklore guy," and had even requested a guitar be sent down to him. The mining minister wrote back, saying unfortunately they couldn't fit a guitar, but sent down music so he could listen and sing along to lift his spirits, as well as those of the other miners. Galleguillos, who is married and has several children, was also one of the miners concerned about his kids' schooling being impacted. The mining ministers, in response, set up a schooling area at Camp Hope.

[Updated at 8:25 a.m. ET, 9:25 a.m. Chile time] Galleguillos' family is clapping as they watch a TV monitor bring him from the rescue chamber.

The family said like others, they have become a part of a new large family, and will wait at the site until all miners have been rescued.

"One for all and all for one," one of the Galleguillos brothers said.

"We want to tell him how much we love him," his brother said, adding that their mother couldn't come because she was overwhelmed with emotion.

[Updated at 8:26 a.m. ET, 9:26 a.m. Chile time] Bolivian President Evo Morales is now at the site waiting for the arrival of Jorge Galleguillos with Chilean President Miguel Piñera.

[Updated at 8:19 a.m. ET, 9:19 a.m. Chile time] Chilean President Miguel Piñera has returned to the site of the rescues after resting for a short time.

Additionally, reporters on the ground and video shows as more rescues are going on, the time between the rescues is decreasing - perhaps a sign the workers are gaining more experience with the procedure and have gotten into a careful, but fluid rhythm.

[Updated at 8:14 a.m. ET, 9:14 a.m. Chile time] Jorge Galleguillos, the eleventh miner, has entered the rescue capsule and is preparing to begin his ascent through the rescue chamber.

[Updated at 8:00 a.m. ET, 9:00 a.m. Chile time] CNN's Sean O'Key reports that it is quiet at the hospital in Copiapo where miners are being brought for treatment. More police showed up in last half hour, but otherwise the scene is very calm - a stark contrast to the atmosphere last night.

[Updated at 7:57 a.m. ET, 8:57 a.m. Chile time] Workers have sent the rescue capsule down to retrieve the eleventh miner - expected to be Jorge Galleguillos.

Alex Vega gives a thumbs up after being rescued from the mine.

[Updated at 7:52 a.m. ET, 8:52 a.m. Chile time] Alex Vega, looking in high spirits, gave a thumbs up and crossed himself in prayer as he exited the rescue capsule.

He then took off his hard hat and kissed his wife and held her tightly as rescuers cheered in the background. Both cried as they held each other for the first time in more than two months. As he was put on a stretcher and into the required triage, his wife tightly grabbed his hand, and gave him her camera which he held up to videotape the crowd and workers watching. His wife wiped tears from her eyes as he was led away.

[Updated at 7:50 a.m. ET, 8:50 a.m. Chile time] The tenth miner has reached the top of the rescue chamber and been rescued. Alex Vega, 31, is a heavy machinery mechanic. He was doing repair work on a truck when the mine collapsed. Alex Vega's  father is also a mining veteran.

He suffers from hypertension and kidney problems, officials said, and he will likely require medical attention when he gets to the hospital.

Vega got into mining because he wanted to earn more money to leave his parents' home to buy a house for his family. However, his wife Jessica Salgado says that while her husband is a bit stubborn, she's going to forbid him from ever working in a mine again.

[Updated at 7:33  a.m. ET, 8:33 a.m. Chile time] Alex Vega's brother said after a night of waiting and holding a vigil at Camp Hope he cannot wait to see his brother.

"Yes we're very excited," Jonathan Vega told reporters. "It is our turn and we are praying at all 36, with the rescuers, will come up. We are a big family - we are 33 families that have come together now. We are waiting for all of them."

Jonathan Vega and his family have been singing in anticipation of his arrival.

"In the beginning the wanted to bring him up last but he's having some back aches so he's very anxious," he said. "And that's why they are bringing him up now."

His wife, Jessica Salgado, smiled nervously and put her hands in her jacket pocket as she hugged rescue workers and waited for her husband to come out of the rescue capsule.

[Updated at 7:11  a.m. ET, 8:11 a.m. Chile time] The rescue capsule has been sent down to retrieve the tenth miner.

[Updated at 7:03  a.m. ET, 8:03 a.m. Chile time] Workers are checking the rescue capsule before sending it down to retrieve Alex Vega - who is expected to be the tenth miner that will be brought to the surface.

Mario Gomez kneels down to pray after being rescued and taken out of the rescue capsule.

[Updated at 7:03  a.m. ET, 8:03 a.m. Chile time] Mario Gómez' wife rubbed her hands and clasped them together in anticipation as he was being unloaded from the rescue capsule.

Gómez raised his hands gave two thumb up as he waved the Chilean flag proudly and pointed at his family. He has said he will never step foot in a mine again - a place he has worked since he was 12. His wife Lillane Ramirez has prepared a honeymoon for them as soon as he is ready.

After exchanging in a long embrace with his wife, Gómez dropped to the desert floor on his knees, and prayed with his hands clasped around the Chilean flag. He was then loaded onto a stretcher and covered in a blanket - but he raised his hand with exuberance in triumph as he was carted off.

[Updated at 6:57 a.m. ET, 7:57 a.m. Chile time] A ninth miner has reached the top of the rescue chamber and been rescued. Mario Gómez is the oldest of the group at age 63.

The day of the cave in Gómez, who has been mining since the age of 12, had been getting ready to retire but found himself in the mines to test a new truck. Gómez has lung problems because of his history of mining and also lost a couple of fingers during a previous mining accident.

He is known in the group of 33 as the spiritual one and requested a crucifix and other religious symbols so the men could construct a shrine underground.

[Updated at 6:49 a.m. ET, 7:49 a.m. Chile time] Gómez' wife Lillane Ramirez, stood by the site of the rescue video taping and readying her camera to see her husband.  She held onto the arm of one of the rescuers, nervously joking as she and many of his family members stood by, anxiously waiting to see his face through the rescue tube.

[Updated at 6:35 a.m. ET, 7:35 a.m. Chile time] Gómez, the ninth miner and the oldest trapped underground, has been placed in the rescue tube and is preparing to be pulled to the surface.

[Updated at 6:25 a.m. ET, 7:25 a.m. Chile time] Mario Gómez, the ninth miner and the oldest trapped underground, has been placed in the rescue tube.

[Updated at 6:15 a.m. ET, 7:15 a.m. Chile time] Mario Gómez, 63, the oldest in the mine, is expected to be the next miner to be rescued from the mine. He would be the ninth member of the group of 33 to be rescued.

As the sun comes up over the mine and Camp Hope miners will be wearing sunglasses.

[Updated at 5:55 a.m. ET, 6:55 a.m. Chile time] Dawn is breaking in Copiapo, Chile and the miners will be facing a change in light as they emerge from the rescue chamber.

All of the miners now will likely be wearing sunglasses so they can adjust after being underground in darkness for more than two months.

So far, eight miners have been rescued, in a little under eight hours.

Continue reading all of the minute-by-minute updates from the rescues of the first eight miners here.

soundoff (1,166 Responses)
  1. The Atheist

    God God God... God this, God that... ... it's so (can't find the word to describe) to make God part of everything and most of all, justify HIS actions either are good or bad... i've been reading "God wanted them to be in that situation...." or even more ridiculous, God wanted the world to see how we can work together as humanity and succeed. And that's sounds beautiful, but in three weeks, everybody will forget about this "team work" and will continue with their life like nothing happened. Then God would need to get the whole humanity half a mile down earth and leaves the great chilean engineers to pull all of us out of that hole...

    Anyway, God has nothing to do with this. Engineers, coming from UNIVERSITIES where they learned from SCIENTIFIC STUDIES, TOPOLOGY, etc etc, are the ones with all the merit for designing a mine structure that would allow them to have contact with the world for all those days. That's why they are alive. SCIENCE.

    Gather 2000 priests (including the Pope for those catholics) and have them pray 69 days and let's see if God is gonna make them come out "thru the dust" all the way up...

    I respect you have beliefs but stop being so blindly ignorant thinking that everthing is GOD's work. God is in your faith, not in charge of "operating" the world. i took about one hour reading most of your comments and i couldn't help it but to grab my head in deep frustration.

    Note to those who don't know EXACTLY what an atheist is. We do not DENY the "theory" of a supreme power, we just do not ACCEPT it until you can PROVE IT with actual facts. Everyday all those MIRACLES in the Bible are, one by one, being proved SCIENTIFICALLY that they happened for a combination of PHYSICAL, CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL etc etc facts.
    Note 2: we DO HAVE faith. We have faith in the human being therefore this amazing team work. We try to find the answers within our history of knowledges and examples set by other human beings. We embrace the goodwill (which has nothing to do with GOD) of the human being. I understand you want to celebrate inspired in your faith, but you have to stop "scoring" in favor to God something that was a SCIENTIFIC work in its entirety.

    October 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |

      When you die...that's eactly what you would say....God, God, God......why was i such a fool. He'd say depart from me because I never knew you.

      October 13, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christian

      To the Atheist ... I understand your perspective about 'science'. I do want to add ... that talent, gift, ability was deposited unto these individuals by a 'supreme power' - which I know to be God. One of the miners even mentioned that while underground he struggled with the Devil - but chose God. So, while you do not believe or have not received 'proof' - the good thing and PRAISE GOD that some of these miners DO believe. I do believe that you and I and everyone on this planet have been given talents, gifts, and abilities and with proper guidance, development and possibly formal education, these talents are enhanced to reach their potential. But its starts somewhere and that is with GOD. May GOD bless you!

      October 13, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. xhy

    you are right Amanda. Lucky those people because God loves them...

    October 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marisha

    CNN you have the chilean time wrong, we already have the summer time, so it´s 3:17 pm here.

    October 13, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    If you think it's getting old, just go back to your cartoons, ok Mr Killjoy

    October 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sonya

    "The Earth is but one country and mankind its citizens." ~ Baha'i Faith

    Through the power of unity, faith, and hope, much can be accomplished. Here we are, whether we are near or far, we are all concerned for the safety and well-being of our fellow human-beings and sending love and hope to our brothers and sisters in Chile. May you have good health and happiness for many years!

    October 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gab

    This is a great story and I am glad the national media is giving it the attention it deserves. God bless all those involved with rescuing the miners and God bless the miners and their families. I cannot imagine what this experience must have been like for them.

    Now, for all those who spew their ignorance over this comment section about their disbelief in a God, if you do not believe in a God, that is fine and absolutely your choice. But you can not speak about something you don’t believe in and clearly don’t know much about.

    You say “how can there be a God only when good things happen but what about genocide, killings, etc.” First of all, as a Christian, the God I believe in and the religion I proclaim teaches that God is in everything that we do, as believers. Those who have faith in God receive his blessings.

    The genocides, the crimes, the killings, these things are not God’s doing, they are the acts of “MAN”. Remember, all of mankind is full of sin. Therefore, there will be evil in this world. Since the beginning of Christianity and all throughout its teachings, “MAN” was always given the choice to do what is right. From Adam & eve to Cain & Able, to those who chose to crucify Christ. God always gives you the choice to do what is right.

    Therefore, in response to “why are their genocides, killings, etc?,” because mankind has a choice, to live righteously or not. Unfortunately, many in this world choose their evil desires. So as long as people chose evil, there will always be evil.

    Now, you ask why God doesn’t intervene. First, God does not create suffering, mankind does. Christianity teaches charity, compassion, concern for all mankind. It is up to us, as mankind to use our Christian faith to help those in suffering but keep in mind, Christianity has NEVER promised an easy, carefree, suffering free life. In fact the bible teaches there will be much suffering, because the world is full of sin. But God is what sustains you and pulls you through and teaches you how to use your talents to help others. That is what my God is all about.

    God sustained those miners and their families because they clearly believed and willing to proclaim it as they emerge. Christian believers know this life on earth is not all there is and therefore we do not expect it to be peaceful and carefree.

    @Christopher A Wolfe and @Dimitri, Yes, the engineers and drillers were a large part of this rescue. But trust and believe, God gave them the resources to gain their talent and their skills to do what they did and create and innovate. God also made it possible, that for some reason they could have been any where in the world using their skills for something else, but instead they were a part of this rescue. Don’t deny what you clearly have no knowledge about. If you are going to speak on a subject, Educate yourselves in the subject matter. Thanks!

    October 13, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • JDM


      October 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      So if God's not responsible, who makes babies be born with no brains? Who makes earthquakes happen which kill thousands of people? Who made diseases like ALS which make people waste away inside their own bodies? Who created Alzheimers disease which robs people of their very being? Who created Tay Sachs disease which causes babies to be born, live short lives of agonizing pain and paralysis, then die before the age of five?

      Mankind doesn't do that. Either God has all the power and deliberately inflicts suffering on innocent people, or he doesn't exist in the first place. You can't have it both ways.

      October 13, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      "But you can not speak about something you don’t believe in and clearly don’t know much about."

      This is like saying that because I don't believe in the Tooth Fairy, I can't speak about how the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist and only people who believe in the Tooth Fairy are qualified to talk about it.

      October 13, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gab

      Uh, Mary,
      First, thank you for reading my post, however, I am sorry you could not comprehend what I wrote. Since you didn’t understand let me explain it to you more clearly. Christianity teaches that God does not create suffering, mankind does, ok. No matter what kind of suffering or illness or natural disaster. That is not what God intended, but it is a result of the actions of mankind, our Sins. As christians, We know we no longer are innocent because of this and we will forever suffer the consequences of the original sin. Keep in mind, I said as christians, we know these things. YOU DONT HAVE TO BELIEVE, God gives you that choice. Why are you concerned about it any way, you clearly don’t have faith in God or else you would already know the answer to your questions.

      So asking me questions, as if to challenge my beliefs is silly. Now, I will not explain to you any further, but I will point you to the Bible and the book of Genesis, etc if your REALLY want those questions answered. It has all the answers to your questions. Educate yourself so you can make a valid argument. Like I said before, if you don’t know much about Christianity, you should not speak about it. I say that because, it really makes you sound ignorant, especially to a student of the teachings of Christianity. But be my guess, speak about something you don’t believe in if you wish, it’s no reflection on me. Just a mere reflection of your own ignorance. I welcome all conversations with valid, accurate arguments.

      October 13, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pat

    Hey Athiest.........

    God loves you whether you like it or not.

    October 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • McJesus

      YAY! I feel MUCH BETTER now! Hey. Does he still love me even when he sends me via UPS down to hell to meet the big red-skinned horned evil devil creatures that live under the ground?

      October 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |

      Now aint that the TRUTH....the whole truth and nothing but the TRUTH. It was God that woke Athiest up, gave him a job, fed him, clothed, put shoes on him, gave him money,house, a car and favor, mercy and grace followed him all through this day...Now tell me there aint no God. you think you did it by yourslef...but buddy you didn't.

      October 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |

      @ mC.....

      Why don't you ask Him when you see him...you bet your sweet peppers YOU WILL SEE HIM!!! Shoots! You will stand and kneel before him....get a load on that!

      October 13, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Uma

    World must take note of Chilean government's dedication to safeguard lives of its people no matter how poor the odds are to succeed. Kudos to Chile and it Presidente.

    October 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David A.

    Watching From El Salvador, Central America.
    Great work to everyone thats helping out in saving this miners!! kudos to all of them!! im @ work and everyone is paying close attencion to the story!! Thanks CNN for the great job yall have being doing!!

    October 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PeterD

    Pure Miracle from one and only ALLAH HO AKBAR ALLAH

    October 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tommy D

    Maybe somebody on God's side in this argument can also discuss if God also guided the mining company to their safety violations.... or the Chilean earthquake in February that killed more than 500, presumably including many believers... or God's role in any number of heartbreaks and disasters suffered elsewhere by believers. Seems like He either is a player or not a player, but choose one. I don't understand how one can only give Him credit when the outcome seems favorable or how these contradictions can be shrugged of as simply divine mysteries.

    Meanwhile, whatever, this rescue is so very cool and this non-believer is totally enjoying every minute of it.

    October 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |

      @ Tommy d
      You can ask God yourself.....You'd get an answer. Yes, enjoy the rescue mission.......oh and don't forget to ASK GOD for answers to the many questions as you take on the fullfilling enjoyment. Don't forget to be thankful that you weren't in the mine...oh and that you are in a safe place...oh and that any disasters, earthquakes, you name it you SURVIVED IT, okay! be sure to hear what he says...if you hadn't already.

      October 13, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tommy D

      Believer, I was asking you. What does God tell you about the contradictions?

      October 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brian Bowman

    The world needed a good movie; the Chilean mine rescue is better than anything Hollywood can conjure. Romance, suspense, drama, real characters with whom you can truly empathize, and a wonderfully happy ending. It makes a fellow proud to be a human being.

    October 13, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kingsley

    Take all the glory Father God. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Ya gazie nuoo

    October 13, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joan Flynn

    What a wonderful job you are doing. we are glued to the tv and just so excited with every new rescue. seeing one of the trapped lead the crowd in a cheer was so touching. thank you CNN

    October 13, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. xhy

    Hey,.... i heard that there is a one miner who has a wife and a mistress... Hahah!

    October 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth: Hit Your Knees~!

      So how do they decide who to let through and greet him?
      Maybe they should ask him?
      It has been enough of a nightmare for him under ground....should his homecoming be made worse?

      October 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • xhy

      well that's worse... for me as a single... I'm not going to argue with him on that topic... i'll let him rest and forget that and if I found out that he's still having an affair with the other girl... I'll talk to him and tell him Hey! can't you remember that you're lucky to have a chance to live and take care of your family and not to have some family...

      October 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Valrak

      He has a wife, yes, but they were separated just not divorced. Probably she showed up just to claim the money

      October 13, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
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