Miners Rescued: 33 Miners were Alive

Rescue efforts to bring 33 miners trapped underground to the surface have been successful, with the last of the miners being pulled up late Wednesday night.

The miners had been trapped underground for more than two months. Efforts to surface them took place on an individual basis using a specially-built cage.

When the 33 miners were determined to be alive in late August, it was said that it could take up to four months to get them all out alive.

One of the trapped miners, 19-year-old Jimmy Sánchez, wrote an emotional letter to a relative just days ago.

The rescue operation began shortly after 2315 on Tuesday (0215 GMT on Wednesday) with a technical expert, Manuel Gonzalez, being lowered down the 624m (2,047ft) shaft.

Those freed earlier were:

* Jimmy Sanchez, 19, the youngest of the group who had only been working at the mine for five months and had been showing signs of anxiety
* Mario Gomez, at 63 the oldest miner, who sent up a letter shortly after the miners were found to be alive, saying that the mining company “has got to modernise”
* Jose Ojeda, whose scribbled note – which read “All 33 of us are safe in the shelter” – informed the world the miners were still alive 17 days after the rockfall that trapped them
* Bolivian Carlos Mamani, the only non-Chilean, who was greeted by his president, Evo Morales
* Mario Sepulveda, who brought a bag of stones from the mine as souvenirs
* Juan Illanes, a former soldier who urged his fellow miners to maintain discipline while trapped
* Claudio Yanez, who became engaged to his partner of 11 years, Cristina Nunez, during the ordeal
* Yonni Barrios, whose wife only found out about his mistress when they both attended a vigil for him
* Edison Pena, who became known as “the runner” because he ran up to 5km (3 miles) a day through the mine tunnels to keep himself fit
* Victor Zamora, not a miner but a driver who had gone underground to repair a vehicle and was trapped by the rockfall
* Omar Reygadas, a bulldozer operator who, after leaving the capsule, knelt on the ground clutching a Bible
* Esteban Rojas, who while underground told his girlfriend of 25 years that he now wanted to marry her
* Jose Henriquez, an evangelical preacher who had the job of keeping up his colleagues’ spirits
* Claudio Acuna, one of the “palomeros” who handled packages for the group; he celebrated his birthday down the mine
* Franklin Lobos, a former professional soccer player in a Chilean league who received a signed t-shirt sent to the mine by Barcelona star David Villa
* Richard Villarroel, whose partner Dana Castro is heavily pregnant
* Raul Bustos, whose wife described him as the “luckiest unlucky man on Earth”; he lost his builder’s business during Chile’s earthquake in February
* Alex Vega, Jorge Galleguillos, Carlos Barrios, Victor Segovia, Daniel Herrera, Pablo Rojas, Dario Segovia, Osman Araya, Samuel Avalos, Carlos Bugueno, Renan Avalos, Juan Aguilar, Pedro Cortez and Ariel Ticona