News Current Events Chilean Miners Emerge From the Rubble By Catie Leary Writer and Photographer Georgia State University Catie Leary writes and curates visual stories about science, animals, the arts, travel, and the natural world. our editorial process Catie Leary Updated November 11, 2019 Marcelo Hernandez / dpanull Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices Laurence Golborne, the mining minister of Chile, tells the media about the T-130 drilling machine after it finally reached the underground shelter of the trapped miners in the San Jose mine. The national crisis began when 700,000 tons of rock collapsed on Aug. 5, sealing the 33 in the lower reaches of the mine. For 17 days after that, no one even knew whether the miners had survived. 1 of 12 Waving Red, White, and Blue Marcelo Hernandez/dpanull. A young relative of a trapped miner celebrates and waves a red, white and blue Chilean flag on Oct. 9 in Camp Hope, near the regional capital of Copiapo, Chile. 2 of 12 Celebrations from afar Natacha Pisarenko/AP. Arturo Zamora, son of trapped miner Victor Zamora, looks at a cake during the celebration of his father's 34th birthday at Camp Hope on Oct. 10, when the elder Zamora was still underground. The daily routine for the trapped miners included some of the comforts of home — at least those that could be lowered through narrow holes. 3 of 12 Camp Hope Jorge Saenz/AP. Relatives and friends of the miners mingle with rescue personnel, waiting for positive news at Camp Hope on Oct. 11. For the past few months, the camp has served as a base of support for the family and friends of the miners trapped in the collapsed mine. One miner's wife told the Associated Press: "Patience, longing to see my husband, that is what is keeping me here," said Cristy Coronado, waiting for news of her husband, miner Juan Aguilar. "I have camped here each night since he disappeared and I will stay until he returns. That is my effort and I expect the same from those responsible for this disaster." 4 of 12 Gratitude Jorge Saenz/AP. Maria Segovia, sister of trapped miner Dario Segovia, embraces Jeff Hart, the U.S. operator of the T-130 drilling machine that reached the trapped miners and allowed the rescue operation to proceed. 5 of 12 Waiting for good news Natacha Pisarenko/AP. Carlos Galleguillos and Tabita Galleguillos, relatives of trapped miner Jorge Galleguillos, wait for an update — and good news — in Camp Hope on Oct. 11. 6 of 12 Letters from the miners Natacha Pisarenko/AP. Miguel Valenzuela receives a letter from trapped miner Jorge Galleguillo on Oct. 11. The letter says in Spanish, "Wednesday to Friday we'll be getting out." 7 of 12 Successful rescue Jose Manuel de la Maza/AP. Chile's President Sebastian Pinera (center right) hugs rescued miner Florencio Avalos after Avalos was rescued from the collapsed gold and copper mine near Copiapo, Chile, early on the morning of Oct. 13. 8 of 12 Tearful reunions Hugo Infante/Government of Chile. Osman Araya, 30, the sixth miner to emerge from the collapsed mine near Copiapo, Chile, embraces his tearful wife, Angelica, after he emerged on the surface on Oct. 13. 9 of 12 Applauding the rescue Hugo Infante/Government of Chile. Claudio Yañez, 34, is carried away on a stretcher after being the eighth miner to leave the mine through the Phoenix rescue capsule. 10 of 12 Emerging victorious Hugo Infante/Government of Chile. Mario Gomez, 59, the oldest of the 33 trapped miners, throws his hands in the air in victory after being the ninth miner to be liberated from the collapsed San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, on Oct. 13. His T-shirt displays a portion of the Chilean flag. 11 of 12 Thumbs up Hugo Infante/Government of Chile. Alex Vega, 31, gives a thumbs up with one hand and holds a Bible in the other while being carried into the triage medical site. Vega was the tenth rescued miner to emerge. 12 of 12 A long 69 days Hugo Infante/Government of Chile. Jorge Galleguillos, 55, becomes the 11th miner to be rescued from the San Jose mine. He was one of the oldest in the group.