November 19th, 2010
12:44 PM ET

Miners missing after New Zealand explosion

At least 27 miners remained missing after an underground explosion on New Zealand's west coast, company officials said Friday.

Two miners emerged from the the Pike River coal mine in Atarau, located about 90 miles northwest of Christchurch, with moderate injuries, authorities said.

No fatalities have yet been reported, but concerns over ventilation at the mine has delayed a rescue effort. A power outage might have compromised ventilation inside the mine.

"They're itching to get in there and start looking for other people and a bit frustrated at having to stand and wait," police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn said.

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Filed under: Mine accidents • New Zealand
November 18th, 2010
09:50 AM ET

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

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2010/11/18/heroes.tuchman.miners.atlanta.cnn"%5D

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.

November 3rd, 2010
10:40 PM ET

Government moves to shut down Kentucky coal mine

The federal government, in an action that it says is the first of its kind, filed a lawsuit Wednesday to close a Kentucky coal mine until its owner can make it safe for workers.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration, filing in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, seeks a preliminary injunction against the Freedom Energy Mining Co. mine No. 1 in Pike County. The mine is owned by Massey Energy Co.

"Freedom Energy has demonstrated time and again that is cannot be trusted to follow basic safety rules when an MSHA inspector is not at the mine," Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, said in a statement. "If the court does not step in, somebody may be seriously injured or die."

Massey Energy also owns a coal mine in West Virginia where 29 miners died in an explosion April 5, the industry's worst disaster in 40 years. The mine had a spotty safety record before the explosion, with three deaths reported in the past 12 years.

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Filed under: Coal mining • Kentucky
October 26th, 2010
03:41 PM ET

'Blast boxers' aim to curb 'life-changing' wounds

Blast boxers cost $86 and protect important soldier parts, their maker says.

Military officials in a number of European countries are testing “blast boxers,” armored underwear that protect the groin from shrapnel, according to the garments' manufacturer.

BCB International, a Cardiff, Wales-based manufacturer of military and survival products, says the shorts could help reduce “life-changing” injuries to the genitalia and colon - the type caused by roadside bombs in Afghanistan.

The “blast boxers” can stop a projectile moving at 230 meters per second (about the speed of a small handgun bullet), according to the company’s website. Besides protecting the genitals, the shorts also are designed to protect the femoral artery, which, if punctured, can cause rapid blood loss and a quick death.

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Filed under: Military • Mine accidents • Wales • War
October 20th, 2010
09:35 PM ET

2 remaining miners in Ecuador found dead

The two remaining miners trapped underground in Ecuador since part of a
mine collapsed last week have been found dead, the president of the mine said
Wednesday.

Angel Vera and Pedro Mendos  had been trapped since last Friday, mine president Juan Cando Pacheco said.

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Filed under: Ecuador • Mine accidents
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.

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Filed under: Chile • Chile miners trapped • Mine accidents • Religion
October 16th, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Blast kills 21 in China mine

A gas explosion Saturday killed at least 21 workers and 16 others were trapped at a coal mine in central China, authorities told state-run media.

Rescuers have retrieved 20 bodies so far, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The 16 trapped miners have been located but rescuers have to clear coal dust from the shaft in order to reach them.

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October 15th, 2010
02:18 PM ET

Four trapped in Ecuador mine, government official says

Four miners have been trapped in an incident at a mine in southern
Ecuador, a government official said Friday.

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Filed under: Ecuador • Mine accidents
October 15th, 2010
09:44 AM ET

On the Radar: Chile miners, T.I. in court, space tourism

Chilean miners - More miners are expected to be discharged Friday from a regional hospital in Chile following their rescue after 69 days underground, and officials said they hope that all 33 will be home by Sunday.

Three  miners were discharged Thursday night, CNN Chile reported. CNN's sister network identified them as Juan Illanes, Edison Pena and Carlos Mamani. It aired video of several men and what appeared to be their families inside a red van departing the hospital grounds.  We also heard for the first time from rescue workers - including the last man into the capsule - who says he was "just one link" in the chain.

T.I. hearing - Rapper T.I. may learn his fate at an Atlanta, Georgia, court hearing Friday, days after he helped a suicidal man who wanted to jump off a building.

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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.

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October 14th, 2010
11:43 AM ET

What's next for Chile miners, Fenix, 'Super Mario' and mine?

The last rescued miner, Luis Urzua, and President Sebastian Pinera sing Chile's anthem.

The whole world watched as rescue workers pulled 33 men out of a mine near Copiapo, Chile, after they had been trapped underground for more than two months.

While all 33 men are safe above ground, the story out of Chile is far from over. From the likely legal battle stemming from the initial mine collapse to those who have emerged as key figures, plenty lies ahead.

So, you're asking, what's to become of the miners, "Super Mario," the Fenix 2 capsule and the mine itself?

Rescued miners

Life is about to change tremendously for the 33 men who spent 69 days trapped. They've gone from unknown miners to national heroes. They were lucky to walk out of the mine unharmed, but some are dealing with lingering medical issues. Many experts have said the miners will face psychological struggles similar to post-traumatic stress disorder issues that troops face after war.

The miners and their families also will deal with the glaring spotlight and myriad offers for book and movie deals. The men have reportedly made a pact to write a book jointly and share in the profits. They also likely will find themselves receiving more gifts.

So far, they've reportedly been given or will soon get: wraparound Oakley sunglasses (the ones they wore during the rescue), a trip to Greece, $10,000 each from a businessman, new iPods directly from Apple chief Steve Jobs and trips to see Manchester United and Real Madrid soccer games. Edison Pena, a die-hard Elvis Presley fan who led his fellow miners in Elvis singalongs to pass time while awaiting their rescue, has been given an all-expense paid trip to Graceland.

Then, there's the issue of the collapse. The miners are expected to speak to attorneys about a lawsuit against their employer. As to whether they will work in a mine again, some have said they are miners and that's what they'll continue to do. Some of the men's wives have different designs and are vowing to never allow them inside a mine again.

San Jose mine

There are conflicting reports on what may become of the gold and copper mine that imprisoned the 33 miners.

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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 14th, 2010
10:33 AM ET

On the Radar: Chile mine, O'Donnell, Afghan killings

Next steps for Chile - After 69 days underground and a rescue mission costing up to $20 million, 33 miners have finally been extracted from the bowels of the Earth. To roaring applause, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera placed a metal cap on top of the rescue hole early Thursday - and marked the end of a rescue operation that captivated the world.

But in a way, the story is just beginning - for the miners, who must live with their new status as folk heroes and the spotlight that comes with it, the country and the government, whose attention turns to protecting workers' safety. CNN will be taking a look at what's next for each of these key players.

O'Donnell and the Delaware debate - Wednesday's highly anticipated showdown between two candidates considered surprise contenders for Delaware's U.S. Senate seat featured Christine O'Donnell displaying the conservative credentials that gained her Tea Party backing while Chris Coons, put on the defensive at times, generally backed Democratic policies favored by President Obama.

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October 14th, 2010
06:51 AM ET

Last miner out hailed as shift boss who kept group alive

After the Chilean mine collapsed on August 5, shift boss Luis Urzua divided the lone cans of tuna in the dark cave among the men to keep them alive.

Without food, light or contact with the outside world for days, the shift boss organized the 32 others into three work shifts. He kept them busy, and he helped keep them alive. He led the group that was forced into living in continual darkness - and kept their spirits and solidarity in tact as they faced living in a cramped area with high humidity and hot temperatures.

And it was Urzua, 54, who first established contact with the outside world on August 22, 17 days after the mine collapsed, trapping him and his men. On that day, before even asking for help or about a rescue, he wanted to know the fate of the other men who had left the mine right before its collapse. He was thrilled and cheered on the phone that day.

But two days later he shared the anxieties of the state of the trapped miners.

"Under a sea of rock, we are waiting for the whole of Chile to pull hard so that we can be taken out of this hell," he told Chilean President Sebastian Pinera during their first phone call on August 24.

Inside the underground cavern,  Urzua, who has worked in mining 31 years, pored over diagrams of the mine, working with rescuers to construct a plan for the escape.

And so it was fitting that he would be the one - who offered - to be the last man out. Only after all the other men were each lifted to safety one by one would Urzua leave the mine.

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October 14th, 2010
03:13 AM ET

'Mission accomplished': All 33 miners rescued

Editor's note: Click here for full coverage of the rescue at the Chilean mine where 33 miners were trapped following an August 5 collapse.

[Updated at 3:13 a.m. ET, 4:13 a.m. Chile time] Taiwan announces plans to invite rescued Chile miners for visit.

[Updated at 1:10 a.m. ET, 2:10 a.m. Chile time] Chilean President Sebastian Pinera plans to visit the miners at Copiapo Regional Hospital Thursday morning.

[Updated at 12:35 a.m. ET, 1:35 a.m. Chile time] Here is video of the speech that Chilean President Sebastian Pinera made not long after the final miner was brought to the surface earlier tonight:

[Updated at 12:22 a.m. Thursday ET, 1:22 a.m. Chile time] Check out this gallery, which contains video of all of the 33 miner rescues.

[Updated at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday ET, 12:59 a.m. Thursday Chile time] Earlier today, before rescue worker Manuel Gonzalez talked to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera about mine safety shortly after Gonzalez was the last person to leave the mine, Pinera criticized the mining operation.

Pinera said the mine, which collapsed August 5, "never should have functioned as it was functioning; it had a long history of violations." He added, "I want to announce to the Chilean workers and the employers that we are going to make a new pact in which the life, dignity and protection of workers will be the focus of government concern."

Representatives of the mine owner, the San Esteban Mining Co., have said previously they will collaborate fully with Chilean authorities and the Chilean Congress in their inquiries about what went wrong at the mine.

[Updated at 11:39 p.m. Wednesday ET, 12:39 a.m. Thursday Chile time] After Chilean President Sebastian Pinera greeted and congratulated rescue worker Manuel Gonzalez - the last person to be lifted from the mine - the rescuer told the president something very similar to what the final rescued miner, Luis Urzua, told Pinera earlier tonight.

"Mr. President, I hope this never happens again. I hope Chilean mining will be different; I hope things will be done correctly in [mining]," Gonzalez said, according to a translation from Spanish to English.

Pinera responded that he expects to someday announce new regulations to help protect Chile's workers, not only in mining, but also in other industries.

[Updated at 11:33 p.m. Wednesday ET, 12:33 a.m. Thursday Chile time] And now the rescue operation is done. The capsule has carried rescue worker Manuel Gonzalez – the last person to be lifted from the miners’ refuge – to the surface. He is cheered enthusiastically by fellow rescue workers.

Gonzalez returns about 25 hours after he went into the refuge to help the 33 miners get back to the surface.

[Updated at 11:25 p.m. Wednesday ET, 12:25 a.m. Thursday Chile time] As we wait for the last rescuer to reach the surface, check out this video compiling many of the arrivals of the 33 freed miners over the last 24 hours:

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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
01:15 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.

FULL POST

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.

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