Mine rescue a feel-good story
Reporter Andrew Robinson writes about the miraculous rescue of more than 30 miners from deep beneath the earthy in Chile. He calls it an amazing story that likely won’t be topped anytime soon.
There are definitely more than a few people out there who complain that news focuses all too often on negative stories. Say what you will about whether you like hearing about bad news, but the fact remains when something doesn’t go right, it’s often a more newsworthy event than if they unfold as expected.
This case can be magnified when looking at international news headlines. More often than not, the public will be exposed to stories of hardships. Hunger, war, political turmoil, and natural disasters tend to get a lot of attention.
Last week, there was a story that had an almost improbable happy ending.
Two months ago, 33 Chilean miners were trapped underground in a rock dungeon. When the news first broke, it was hard to imagine they would ever breathe above the ground again.
But last Thursday, following lengthy rescue efforts that were planned-out extensively, the last of the 33 miners exited the mine safety. Their 70-days underground represents a world-record for time trapped below the Earth’s surface.
If you were amongst those following the events live online, the sight of the miners being greeted by family members was incredibly moving. For the first 17 days underground, they were completely isolated from the outside world. Imagine psychologically what that must have felt like. Maintaining hope in such circumstances is nearly unthinkable.
But contact was made, and assurances were given that they would all be rescued. From there, the miners began to create their own little society.
If you have access to the Internet, there is a fantastic article published by the British newspaper The Guardian that outlines how the trapped miners lived through an average day underground.
They were supplied with light for 12 hours each day, and were sent food, letters, and medicine through a metal tube. It took one hour for food to travel 700 metres.
After breakfast, they would clean their living quarters. Specific areas were designated for waste, garbage, and recyclables. They also had access to a natural waterfall for bathing. They worked in teams for half-day shifts to ensure that their living spaces remained secure.
In order to maintain hope, the miners held a daily prayer session. One miner with some first aid training became the team’s de facto doctor, relying heavily on help from medical professionals high above him.
Despite their living conditions, the group even found time to share in some lighter moments. A television was made available at one point to let them watch the national soccer team play the Ukraine. Sadly, Chile lost 3-1.
But the miners won thanks to a big team effort. It’s an incredible feel-good story, unlikely to be topped this year.
-Andrew Robinson, The Compass