All 33 trapped miners have been rescued in a splendid example of Chilean national unity. Will Thailand's political leaders take note?
Chilean miner Mario Gomez exits the Phoenix capsule after being brought to the surface. Gomez, at 63 years old is the oldest miner of the group of 33. AFP
Here is the Bangkok Post's front-page story on the Chilean rescue operation, published last night when 17 miners had been rescued.
Miners taste freedom
Rescue proceeding like clockwork
Families rejoice as more men saved
Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera, centre top, cheers as miner Chilean miner Pablo Rojas gives his thumb up after being brought to the surface. AFP
SAN JOSE MINE, CHILE: The miners began to emerge like clockwork, jubilantly embracing wives, children and rescuers and looking remarkably composed after languishing for 69 days in the depths of a mine that easily could have been their tomb.
The anxiety that had accompanied the final days of preparation melted away at 12.11 am (10.11 am Bangkok time yesterday) when the stoutest of the 33 miners, Florencio Avalos, emerged from the missile-like rescue capsule, smiling broadly after his 700-metre journey to the surface.
In a din of cheers, he hugged his sobbing 7-year-old son and wife and then President Sebastian Pinera, who has been deeply involved in an effort that had become a matter of national pride. The most ebullient of the bunch came out second, an hour later.
‘‘I think I had extraordinary luck. I was with God and with the devil. And I reached out for God,’’ said Mario Sepulveda Espina as he waited to be taken by helicopter to hospital where he and the other miners will spend 48 hours under medical observation.
At the time of publishing last night, 17 men had been pulled from the mine at a methodical pace, putting the rescue on track to end before sunrise today (about 4pm Bangkok time) barring any major setbacks.
Each of the men wore dark glasses to protect their eyes after spending so long in the dimly lit tunnel below.
Like wives on the surface who had their hair and nails done for the occasion, the men looked groomed and clean-shaven.
Rescuers were finally able to deploy the capsule, dubbed ‘‘Phoenix’’ (Fenix in Spanish) after the mythical bird that rose from the ashes, after drilling a narrow escape shaft down to the miners and reinforcing it with metal casing to prevent falling rocks from blocking the exit.
As it travelled down and up the 625-metre escape shaft, the capsule was not rotating as much as officials expected, allowing for faster trips. The rescues came as quickly as 39 minutes apart.
The miners have survived longer underground than anyone on record. For 17 days after 700,000 tonnes of rock collapsed on Aug 5 and sealed them in the lower reaches of the mine, no one knew if they were alive. The world was captivated by their endurance and unity as officials planned their rescue.
Chile exploded in joy and relief at the first, breakthrough rescue just after midnight in the coastal Atacama desert.
In the capital, Santiago, a cacophony of car horns sounded.
An estimated 1,500 journalists from around the world were at the mine to report on the rescue.
The images beamed worldwide were extraordinary: Grainy footage from beneath the earth showed each miner climbing into the rescue capsule, then disappearing upward through an opening. Then a camera showed the pod steadily rising through the dark, smooth-walled tunnel.
The entire rescue operation was meticulously choreographed, with no expense spared in bringing in top-flight drillers and equipment — and boring three separate holes into the copper and gold mine. AP, REUTERS
rescue – to save someone form a dangerous or unpleasant situation ช่วยชีวิตclockwork
operation – a planned activity involving a lot of people การปฏิบัติการ
rejoice – to feel very happy about something, or to celebrate something in a happy way ดีใจ, ปลื้มใจ, มีความสุข
emerge – to come out of ออกจาก
jubilant – extremely happy because something good has happened ปีติยินดี
embrace – to hug; to put your arms round someone กอด
composed – calm and relaxed สงบ, มีอารมณ์สงบ
languish – to remain in a difficult or unpleasant situation for a long time ทุกข์ทรมานกับ
depths – a place that is very far or deep inside an area or very far away ส่วนที่ลึกที่สุด
tomb – a grave where a dead person is buried, especially one consisting of a large stone structure หลุมฝังศพ
anxiety – an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future ความวิตกกังวล
stout – slightly fat อ้วนล่ำ
capsule – a small roundish-shaped container in which people travel แคปซูล broad – wide กว้างขวาง
surface – the top layer or outside part of something พื้นดินหรือพื้นน้ำ
din – a very loud unpleasant noise that lasts for a long time เสียงอึกทึก
hug –to put your arms round someone กอด
sob – to cry noisily while taking short breaths ร้องโอดครวญ
pride – a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction that you get when you, or someone connected with you, have achieved something special ความภาคภูมิใจ
ebullient – very happy and enthusiastic กระตือรือร้นมาก
bunch – a group of people กลุ่ม
extraordinary – very unusual and surprising เกินธรรมดา, ผิดธรรมดา
devil – the most powerful evil spirit in many religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam ภูต
methodical – done in a thorough and organised way ซึ่งเป็นระเบียบ, ซึ่งมีแบบแผน
pace – the speed at which something happens or is done
on track – likely to be successful
barring – unless the thing mentioned happens or exists ยกเว้น, ถ้าไม่มี, ยกเสียแต่ว่า
setback – something that happens which delays or prevents a process from advancing การหยุดยั้งการก้าวหน้า,ความล้มเหลว,การถอยหลัง
dim – having little light ไม่สว่าง, ไม่แจ่มชัด
tunnel – an underground passage through which vehicles travel อุโมงค์
(finger)nail – any of the hard smooth parts that cover the ends of your fingers เล็บมือ
groomed – tidy and clean in your appearance ซึ่งดูแลเครื่องแต่งกายและผมเผ้าเรียบร้อย
clean-shaven – having had the hair from from a man's face cut off ที่โกนหนวดเกลี้ยงเกรา
deploy – to put in place ready for use นำมาใช้
dubbed – given a name ตั้งฉายา, ตั้งชื่อเล่นให้
mythical – relating to or existing only in myths; imaginary, or not real ซึ่งเป็นนิทาน
drill - to make a hole using a drill (เครื่องเจาะ) เจาะ
shaft – a long narrow passage, e.g., one that leads from the surface of the ground down to a mine อุโมงค์แนวตั้ง
reinforced – to make stronger เสริมให้แข็งแรงขึ้น
casing – a covering that protects something; a layer of a substance that is used for covering something กรอบภายนอก, วัตถุสำหรับหุ้มห่อ
rotate – to move in a circle around a fixed central point, or to move something in this way หมุน
survive – to continue to live มีชีวิตรอด
collapse – to fall down suddenly พังลงมา seal
seal – to prevent people from entering or leaving an area or a building ปิดกั้น
reaches – the most distant or mysterious parts of something
captivate – to attract or interest someone very much จับใจ,ประทับใจ
endurance – the ability to continue doing something physically difficult or continue dealing with an unpleasant situation for a long time ความอดกลั้น, ความอดทน
relief – a feeling of happiness that something unpleasant has not happened or has ended การผ่อนคลาย
unity – a situation in which people, groups, or countries join together or agree about something ความเป็นเอกภาพ, ความเป็นอันหนึ่งอันเดียวกัน
breakthrough – an achievement that comes after a lot of hard work การพัฒนาหรือการค้นพบที่ยิ่งใหญ่, การบุกเข้าไปในแนวเขตของคู่ต่อสู้
desert – a large area of land with few plants and little water and where the weather is always dry ทะเลทราย
cacophony – an unpleasant mixture of loud sounds เสียงดังที่ผสมปนเปกัน
journalist – a person who writes news stories or articles for a newspaper or magazine or broadcasts them on radio or television ผู้สื่อข่าว
grainy – (of photographs or film) not clear and looking as if they are made up of small spots ที่เป็นเม็ดๆหยาบๆ
footage – film or video of a particular subject or event ฟิลม์หรือคลิปภาพยนตร์ หรือวิดีโอ
meticulously – in a very thorough way and with careful attention to detail อย่างพิถีพิถัน
choreographed – (of a complicated event or activity) carefully planned or organised จัดตั้ง
no expense spared – spending all the money necessary
top-flight – of the highest skill or quality ชั้นเยี่ยม
bore – to make a deep hole in something hard เจาะ
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