Friday, October 15, 2010

Chile Miners: 33/33 Okay

33 of 33 miners were rescued in Chile this week. That's good news: even if all of the 6,000,000,000-plus people living today didn't have good experiences during the last few months.

Here's a sort of wrap-up on what's happened:
" 'I am just one link in the chain,' Chilean mine rescuer says"
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN (October 14, 2010)

"Manuel Gonzalez was eager to get the rescue operation under way as he descended the shaft to the darkness where 33 miners had been trapped since August 5.

"He and a team of 15 others from mines across Chile had been preparing for 'Operation San Lorenzo' for a week. They'd done practice runs of readying the miners for their trip to surface and operating the metal rescue capsule bearing Chile's flag that would carry them 2,300 feet to freedom.

"Each member of the rescue team was ready and able to do the job just as well as the rest, says Gonzalez -- which is why he was especially honored to be chosen as the first team member to go down to the mine...."

It's essentially a human-interest story about one of the people involved in the rescue: with links to related CNN articles. The article also tells a bit about what it was like to go down to the area where the miners had survived since early August.

"Chile, in Mine Rescue's Glow, Vows Labor Reform"
Matt Moffett, Anthony Esposito, Carolina Pica, The Wall Street Journal (October 14, 2010)

"Chile opened a new chapter Thursday in the country's two-month-long mining rescue operation, with the country's president promising tough new labor laws and action against the operator of the collapsed mine...."

I don't subscribe to The Wall Street Journal, and don't have access to the full article. You could try searching for it on Google.

This looks like a step in the right direction. The rescue of those miners went off remarkably well: but it looks like it shouldn't have been necessary in the first place. Which is what Chile's president was talking about.

"Bloggers bitter over Chile mine rescue in tragedy-hit Russia"
AFT (October 14, 2010)

"The hitch-free rescue of the Chilean miners sparked envy in Russia on Thursday, with a host of bloggers wondering why their country did not have a similar success story after a string of tragedies.

"The last Russian mining catastrophe in May took the lives of 90 miners and rescue workers at the Raspadskaya mine near Mezhdurechensk, in southern Siberia, with safety breaches blamed for the disaster.

"President Dmitry Medvedev said in a message to his Chilean counterpart Sebastian Pinera that the operation is 'proof that any, even the most difficult challenges can be successfully overcome by the will and courage of people united by the same goal.'

"But bloggers took a far more cynical line, asking whether the Russian leadership was capable of organising an operation of the kind that brought the Chilean miners to the surface...."

That's a good question, actually. I mentioned, in another context, the efforts of folks in Russia to cope with their situation in another blog (Another War-on-Terror Blog (February 19, 2010))

The Lemming hopes that miners in Russia won't get the chance to see how good their country's leadership can cope with emergencies for a long, long time.
"Zambia president urges mining safety after Chile drama"
AFP (October 14, 2010)

"Zambia President Rupiah Banda on Thursday urged investors to ensure worker safety to avoid mining accidents similar to the one in Chile, where trapped miners have just been rescued.

" 'We all witnessed what happened in Chile, it was so touching to see the last person come out. We have to take care of our mines so that we do not go through what our brothers have gone through,' said Banda...."

I did a little checking, and it looks like copper mining is an important part of Zambia's economy. Back to Chile:
"Truro man pays special attention to Chilean mine rescue"
Monique Chiasson, Turo Daily News (Nova Scotia) (October 14, 2010)

"Watching news reports of a recent mining tragedy and rescue in Chile has re-awakened a Truro man's memories of the Springhill mine disaster.

"Len Denton, a retired psychologist, was part of a research team who evaluated the mental and emotional health of miners who were trapped in the Springhill mine disaster Oct. 23, 1958. Of the 174 affected miners, 74 died and it took up to eight days to make the final rescues. Denton spoke with 19 of those rescued.

" 'We tested them five days after the last man was rescued. We did 18 days of evaluation but I don't think people really know about the research,' said the 80-year-old Truro resident...."

The article is partly a local angle on a global story - and gives some insight into how people cope with disasters.
There's more - a whole lot more - but the Lemming's going to call this 'good enough.'

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