x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Final Chile miner emerges from shaft

To the sound of celebratory horns and wild jubilation, the final miner has emerged safely from a Chilean mine after more than 69 days trapped deep underground.

To the sound of celebratory horns and wild jubilation, the final miner has emerged safely from a Chilean mine after more than 69 days trapped deep underground. 

The shift leader in the San Jose mine when it collapsed on August 5, Luis Urzua, 54, like a captain refusing to abandon a sinking ship till his crew were safe, agreed to stay till the bitter end and was the last of the 33 miners hoisted to freedom.

A siren sounded as Mr Urzua stepped out of the claustrophobic Phoenix rescue capsule before joining President Sebastian Pinera, rescuers and family members in a celebratory and raucous rendition of the Chilean national anthem. 

The last rescuer has also now emerged from the mine. "I hope that this will never happen again," Manuel Gonzalez told Mr Pinera as he exited the metal capsule that hoisted him up from below.

"We are proud of this team of rescuers," Mr Pinerra said of the successful rescue mission that wrapped up ahead of schedule.