Chilean Miners Rescue

I have covered many stories in my career but this one is one of the highlights. It was heartbreaking when we first learned about the Chilean miners trapped 1/2 mile underground, enduring toxic conditions and the fear they would never get out alive. Then what some would call a miracle, engineers from Nasa and a Pennsylvania company came together to design a plan to get the 33 men out . They worked closely with Chilean rescuers and government officials to get the equipment and strategy into place 2 months ahead of schedule. The miners underground for 69 days. The rescue was precise and flawless and captivated the world. We watched for 24 hours as the Phoenix capsule was lowered into a dark hole, reached the cold bottom, a miner with a unique story to tell got inside and then 20-30 minutes later emerged looking healthy. The hugs, tears of joy, cries of loved ones–raw emotion and we all felt a gift of life had been given. I had that same jubilant feeling each time a miner surfaced. Then hearing how little food they had, the special diets created by Nasa to help them cope and withstand the claustrophobic ride to the top. The people behind the names became known to all of us, and it’s amazing now to see they’re healthier than expected. Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera called it a day of faith and a new Chile had emerged one filled with pride. It was a privilege to cover and history was made.