Miners being pulled up to surface one by one from collapsed Chilean mine


SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (WKTV/AP) - One by one, miners are being lifted to the ground surface after being trapped in a collapsed mine 2,040 feet underground for 70 days.

The first miner, Florencio Avalos, was rescued around 11:11 p.m. EST. He was greeted by his son, family members and a hug from Chilean President Sebastian Pinera.

His rescuer, Manuel Gonzalez, climbed out of the escape capsule and was greeted with cheers by the miners, who chanted "Chi Chi Chi, Le Le Le!" and could be seen huddling around him as he began to give them instructions.

Gonzalez, a rescue expert with the state copper company Codelco, will be followed by Roberto Ros, a paramedic with the Chilean Navy's special forces. Together they will prepare the 33 miners for their journey up the 2,041-foot (622-meter) shaft.

President Sebastian Pinera cheered as well and shared hugs with his ministers while they watched video of the capsule entering the miners' chamber.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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