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CONNECT THE WORLD
Live Coverage of Chilean Mine Rescue; Twenty-Third Miner Brought to Surface; Mine Disaster Illuminates Inequalities in Chile; A Look at Mining Globally and Which Countries Have Best and Worst Safety Records; How The World Follows Rescue in Digital Age; Psychologist Looks at Emotions of Miners and Families; Twenty-Fourth Miner Brought to Surface
Aired October 13, 2010 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, almost 18 hours in and the 22nd miner makes his way to the surface.
As Chile continues to bring its trapped men above ground, is this the country's finest hour?
And will lessons learned here potentially help save the lives of miners around the world?
Joining the dots on the rescue efforts in Chile, this is the hour we connect the world.
Well, welcome. We've seen repeats around the clock and yet each time, it seems there's never been a more beautiful sight -- miner after miner rescued today from the depths of the earth in Chile, savoring family and freedom after being trapped more than two months nearly half a mile underground.
We are currently waiting for the 22nd miner to emerge. 43-year-old Samuel Avalos is married with three kids. He had been working in the mine for just five months before he collapsed. And you can take a look at Avalos underground in one of the video messages he recorded while trapped. He's been the gas monitor for the group, sending air quality readings up to the surface.
Well, no one knew quite what to expect, did they, when the first miner was pulled to safety, as I say, just about 18 hours ago. But the historic rescue went without a hitch. Crowds at the scene cheering and whistling when the capsule surfaced. It was hard to find a dry eye when Florencio Avalos stepped out and into the arms of his young sons.
ANDERSON: The second miner to emerge came bearing gifts -- souvenirs of rocks from below. After hugging his wife and just about everybody in reach, Mario Sepulveda couldn't contain the fact that he was finally being freed.
ANDERSON: Well, Sepulveda is the only miner to speak to the media since being rescued.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIO SEPULVEDA, RESCUED MINER (through translator): I was with God and I was with the devil. But God won. I held onto God's hand, the best hand.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, one by one, others surfaced, including the oldest and the youngest of the group. Here we see 63-year-old Mario Gomez on bended knee, giving thanks to God.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has been there to greet every single miner. He told the eleventh man brought to safety, "Welcome to life."
The miner replied, "Thank you for believing that we were alive."
The president had similar words for another rescued miner, Victor Segovia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. SEBASTIAN PINERA, CHILE (through translator): Thank you for coming out and for everything that you did, for the inspiration, your leadership. And welcome. Welcome back to life. Welcome back to Chile.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And Bolivian President Evo Morales also on the site today. He visited fellow Bolivian, Carlos Mamani at a makeshift hospital, saying he could never repay Chile for saving the miners' life.
ANDERSON: It's not just the miners and their families celebrating, but all of Chile, and, indeed, the world. This is the scene in Copiapo, the town nearest the mine, when people realized the first rescue was a success.
Well, let's get straight back to the San Jose Mine, where the 22nd miners, Samuel Avalos, is making his way to the top. There he is. Let's - - let's just listen in for this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 22nd miner that has been rescued, Manuel Avalos. He's 43 years old, married, with four kids. He was born April 29, 1967, and lived here, in the region of the Atacama Desert.
ANDERSON: He might be in his '40s, but I'll bet he feels like a 21- year-old at this moment, on October the 13th, 2010. Samuel Avalos, the 22nd man to emerge from what has been, really, 69 days of darkness. And there you go.
ANDERSON: Well, let's -- let's bring in Gary -- Gary Tuchman, shall we?
He's at -- he's at the San Jose Mine looking, of course, at the pictures that -- that we're seeing here. Oh, this is -- this is remarkable stuff. Twenty-two men in and it still really makes you smile every time you see one of these guys winging his way to the top -- Gary.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Becky, it really does. It has been our extreme privilege to have been here for most of the 15 hours now while these 22 -- that's the latest -- number 22 men have been rescued.
It was seven weeks ago tomorrow that these men went into the mine for a normal day's work, about 800 kilometers north of the capital of Santiago, in a very barren area in the desert in Northern Chile. Little did they know what would happen.
For seventeen days, they were in the mine. Nobody knew they were alive. A number of these men, I am sure, will find out as the days go on and they do more interviews, may have thought that people forgot about them, assumed they were dead. And here we are, for the last 15 hours, watching them come up one by one in this capsule that absolutely looks like an amusement park ride.
We've peeked through the ceiling -- we've had this amazing video from the bottom level that we did not expect to have. The Chilean government set that up. We have sound from the bottom all the way down there. And you see it shoot up through a hole in the scenery.
And it looks like a ride you would see at the amusement park, yet it is saving lives and it's bringing families back together. It's bringing incredible joy.
Samuel Avalos, the man who just came out, he had a job -- he was the gas monitor of the drill. He escorted the gases up to make sure it didn't go up to dangerous levels while they were trapped underground.
It's very interesting, the people who have been rescued today. One man, Daniel Herrera, his mother was living in the camps here, in Camp Hope. And she said she is not leaving this camp until he is safe and sound. And they had this emotional, wonderful reunion today.
And then there was Edison Pena. Edison was known as a big Elvis fan, as in Elvis Presley and Elvis Costello -- maybe Elvis Costello, too. I don't know if he likes both Elvises. But an Elvis Presley fan. Elvis Presley is very popular here in Chile, as he is all over the world. But they played Elvis music in the mine every day. And Graceland, Elvis Presley's home, has offered him an all expense paid trip for two to Graceland to see Elvis Presley's home. So that's a wonderful gift -- Becky, listen, a lot of people here like Elvis. One of the workers for CNN who's working for us here, he plays Elvis in his R.V. every morning. We sleep in tents here because there are no accommodations. And I woke up this morning to "Don't Be Cruel".
So it gives you an idea, we've heard a lot of Elvis since we've been here.
But this is just a wonderful assignment. It's very rare that we have such big, breaking new, but also good news simultaneously. But we have it here in Chile -- back to you, Becky.
ANDERSON: And we're just -- as you speak, Gary -- watching the pictures of the 22nd miner being wheeled away on a gurney. It's only now on a -- on a sort of bed that they're pulling him. Remind us what it is that happens next, for those viewers who -- who haven't been glued to their sets all day.
What's the process after they get out of the -- get out of the Phoenix and move on?
TUCHMAN: Right. The process, as soon as they get out of the Phoenix, is to greet up to three family members who are allowed to be right there next to them as they come out. And then they're separated for just a short time, because they've set up a temporary triage center right near the rescue area. They just make sure that people don't have any major emergencies that have to be taken care of right away.
Once they determine there are no major emergencies, they're then shuttled five minutes away to a kind of house looking building that has been set up as a reunion center, where more family members are allowed to meet with them, kisses, hugs, just one of these great moments. The Chilean government is taking pictures of that, too. And it -- it's really been heart-rending watching the tears coming down people's faces.
And then, all 33 miners are told they must go to a real hospital. So they are then choppered to a real hospital. It's about a 10 or a 15 minute flight away from here, where they're checked out. They could be there up to 48 hours, just to make sure they're OK. And then they will go back to their normal life, if that's possible, for celebrities like this in Chile to go back to normal lives.
ANDERSON: Yes, whatever that normal life will be going forward.
Gary, we thank you for that.
That's Gary Tuchman there at the site of what has been the most extraordinary climax to what has been a tumultuous time for these -- these miners, stuck nearly 70 days some 700 meters below the ground -- half a mile of solid rock below the surface.
Well, you may remember the first estimate we heard of when the miners might be freed was Christmas. But thanks to hard-working crews with high tech equipment, that time frame was a few months off.
Brandon Fisher, president of Center Rock Incorporated, led what was the so-called Plan B drilling team that succeeded in carving an escape route through that solid rock.
He's back home in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and I guess has been watching, glued to his screen, as have the rest of us all day.
Don't you wish you were there?
BRANDON FISHER, PRESIDENT, CENTER ROCK INC.: Yes, I tell you, on one hand, we wish we were there, absolutely. But we -- all of us on the drilling team, in -- including the Chilean members of the drilling team, we really had -- once we were done with that hole, our part was done and we -- we had to step -- step (AUDIO GAP) to the hoisting experts and the other government officials and the medical teams to go in and do their job.
ANDERSON: Brandon, remind us how long it took you to drill the hole, and, indeed, the problems that you encountered.
FISHER: Well, we -- it's -- it's amazing the way it worked out, but it was exactly 33 days from the time we surround drilling the 12 inch diameter hole until we broke through with the 26 inch diameter. So we were onsite drilling for 33 days.
In terms of challenges, just -- it seemed like that hole threw everything at it -- at us that we could possibly have had happened, between the mechanical breakdowns, geolog -- changes in geological formation, extremely hard rock, abrasive rock.
One of the biggest challenges that we had, more than anything, was the angle of the hole. Now this -- this hole had to be drilled at (AUDIO GAP) that they would miss other workings or -- or mine openings that could have been collapsed or still open when it would hinder the drill to pass through.
So the angle of his hole, as well as other deviation changes -- sharp gradient turns, sharp left-hand turns, whenever this five-and-a-half inch potted hole was drilled. That created a whole new set of problems for us - - point loading on our bits, bearings. We had extreme wear on some of the components of our system due to the angles that it was forced through.
ANDERSON: Well, you sound exhausted just talking about it and it's exhausting just listening to it.
Now, I know you're being modest. I mean you're -- you were very much involved in -- in what has today become a great, great day for Chile.
We're looking at pictures there of the last miner who has just come up, Miner 22. We've got 11 to go.
I know that you said, when you heard on the news that these miners were trapped and that Christmas was the likely time that they had to stay underground before they were rescued, that was the point in time at which you said, you know what, we've done this before. You've been involved in rescue efforts, you can help out.
Am I right?
FISHER: Yes. I mean that -- that's why we wanted to be involved. I mean we -- we -- we certainly wouldn't have wanted to be involved if we didn't think we could -- we could go down there and make a difference.
As soon as we heard that news, we -- we started to try to get as much information gathered as possible in terms of depth, rock hardness, how stable the rock was, whether we had to drill through old workings or not. And once we started to gather enough data, our confidence -- our confidence level started to increase that we actually do have the technology to go down there and make a difference.
So -- so once we convinced ourselves that we could go down there and make a difference, the next step was working with the Chileans, reaching out through e-mails and -- and numerous conference calls, explaining our (AUDIO GAP). And this was done in conjunction with the distributor that we have in Chile, a company by the name of Driller Supply, who distributes products for Center Rock Incorporated.
So we -- we joined together to explain our technology and drum up what is now known as -- as Plan B.
ANDERSON: And the rest, of course, is history.
Brandon Fisher, it's been an absolute pleasure to talk to you.
I know you wish you were there today, but you're home back in Pennsylvania there watching the result of your efforts.
Well done, my love, on that.
Thank you for joining us here on CNN today.
And as we take a break, we're going to leave you with the pictures there of the events just in the last 15 minutes or so, the 22nd miner returning to what will be a semblance of normal life back on top after being underground for about 70 days.
Samuel Avalos is back. Eleven miners to go.
We'll be back after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GABRIEL CAVIEDES: I think it's marvelous, a success. And from all Chileans in Spain, a big hug to our compatriots over there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, you heard it just now from that Chilean expat living in Spain.
A day of watching, waiting and cheering. The miners' rescue is drawing a global audience, connecting the world like few stories can.
Right now, 22 miners are out, just 11 to go. The next one due up is Carlos Bugueno. He helped rescue groups above, organized the supply packages that were sent down the bore hole to himself, and, indeed, the fellow miners.
There you can see shots of him there -- shots that we were looking at some weeks ago, I would think, now, thankfully.
In the next few minutes or 10 minutes or so, we are hoping to see him at the top.
Chile's president, Sebastian Pinera, went on Twitter today. He wrote -- and I quote -- "We looked to them like our children. We found them with God's help. We are rescuing them as Chileans. May they -- their example inspire us."
He waxed philosophical about the rescue earlier on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. SEBASTIAN PINERA, CHILE (through translator): After tonight, I am more convinced than ever that the greatest wealth in our country is not copper, it's the miners -- the great wealth of our country are not our natural resources. It's the Chileans who have given an example to the whole world of commitment, faith, hope. Even during the hardest moments, when people -- when many were losing faith and many thought that a successful rescue was just a dream.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, it's fair to say there is an immense amount of national pride, both in Chile and among Chileans who live around the world.
And I want to talk about that with an expat chap living here in London.
Alfonso Daniels is a freelance journalist in London writing for Chile's -- one of Chile's biggest newspapers (INAUDIBLE).
ALFONSO DANIELS, CHILEAN JOURNALIST: (INAUDIBLE).
ANDERSON: Yes, along with several British newspapers.
So, just how does it feel to be Chilean today?
DANIELS: It feels very unique. I mean you wake up, you feel everyone is talking about Chile, you feel proud.
DANIELS: It's amazing that the Chileans have amazed us.
ANDERSON: It really has galvanized both Chileans living at home and Chileans around the world.
Do you think this is Chile's finest hour?
Many people are saying it is.
DANIELS: Well, I suppose there are many finest hours of Chile. But, yes, it is. I mean it's Chilean technology that has achieved this. It's incredible. But they've done it with NASA's support, but it's really Chileans proving that they can -- they can really do something different.
ANDERSON: Good stuff.
But as we talk, we're looking at pictures here from the bottom of the shaft, of course, where the next miner, Miner 23, Carlos Bugueno, will -- is readying himself, along with the six rescuers who are now down in that shaft -- readying himself to get into what's known as the Phoenix. Of course, everybody will know that by now. We've been watching it.
How do you feel?
Look, you talk me through these pictures. Go on.
DANIELS: I mean it's -- it's incredible to see. No one expected this to happen. Of course, it's great that the Chileans feel, after such a tough year -- I mean we had the earthquake at the start of the year. Chile is still recovering from the economic crisis. It's just a feeling of at last we can revel on a great (INAUDIBLE) on the -- on the recovery of so many people that we thought were dead.
So, you know, it just feels really amazing.
ANDERSON: And we've been watching pictures all day of the guys at the Chi -- at the top shouting, "Chi, Chi, Chi!" "Le Le Le!" "Arriba Chile!"
DANIELS: Yes, that's very common.
ANDERSON: I mean it's -- that's very common, of course, because there's a real sense of national pride, isn't there, amongst them?
DANIELS: Yes. I suppose there was that feeling during the World Cup -- the football World Cup -- that Chile would do well. It didn't do very well. So this...
DANIELS: Well, yes. But now this feeling, really, just is good news at last and also proving to the world that, I mean, Chileans have proved themselves to be well at the top technically in mining. You -- you see the miners themselves, how they talk, how they express themselves. They're very clear that you can see that the education is working in Chile.
So, yes, it's a good moment for Chile.
ANDERSON: Yes, you're making some very good points.
And, again, we're looking here at pictures coming to us live from -- from the bottom of that -- that shaft, which I can tell you, is 700 meters down, as Carlos Bugueno makes his way up to the top. It's taking about 12 minutes to get to the top, 700 meters down and half a mile of solid rock they're going through there.
We're looking at the pictures as -- as I speak here to my guest in the studio.
You heard your president speaking earlier on, being flanked by Evo Morales, actually, the Bolivian president. There was that one Bolivian, of course, down in the mine.
What -- what did you think when you heard his words?
DANIELS: I mean Pinera is a very media savvy person. He's a multi- millionaire, a billionaire, actually. And he -- he knows where to detect a P.R. opportunity. His ratings were in the low 40s a couple of months ago, now in the upper 50s. So, yes, it's -- I thought of him because he really knew how to make the best of this moment.
ANDERSON: Yes. Some people would call it milking it. I'm not going to be that -- that hard on him.
Listen, let's get to -- let's get back to the mine. And stay with me here, because I know that the health minister, I'm being told, is -- is holding a press conference, talking to the press.
Let's listen in.
JAIME MANALICH, CHILEAN MINISTER OF HEALTH (through translator): -- was lifted from the bowels of the earth less than three hours ago. This is a slow process. We have to be patient. None of them has been able to go to sleep since they arrived here. They're still feeling some anxiety. They've had the opportunity to see their families and to -- and their friends. They're all asking about how the rescue operation is progressing. And none of them is going to be able to rest until all their companions are out.
With regard to the patient that has acute pneumonia, what kind of treatment is he going to receive and how long do you think he's going to stay at the hospital?
We thought that he had, in fact, was starting to get this pneumonia four days ago because of his symptoms. That forced us to start an antibiotic treatment, quite intensive, and that's why I say that in the last 24 hours, he already started getting better while still inside of the mine. And that forced us to really prepare especially for his rescue.
And that's why we had to send down two medical rescue workers, so that one of them could focus entirely and exclusively on this patient.
He confirmed the diagnostic and that he was breathing a lot better and he was able to -- to do some therapy before he came up. They -- he was lifted with an oxygen mask that covered his whole face so that he would have oxygen intake at all times.
He's now better than he was a couple of days ago. If all goes well, at the very maximum, he should stay at the hospital through this weekend.
The identity of those miners, both the one that has pneumonia and the other two that are going to be -- have dental surgery, what are their names?
Of the 17 miners that have been hospitalized, only three of them are going to have those problems. In spite of the extraordinary work that you do, we want to respect the miners' privacy. So we cannot give you their names.
I imagine that you surmise who we are talking about. But we need them to seek -- to rest, to have privacy, to be with their families. We need at least 48 hours to see that they are well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: All right, Jaime Manalich there, who is the Chilean health minister and there at the regional hospital where these miners are -- are being taken, flown out from the mine, of course, where they'll stay for some time, talking about the conditions of some of those miners and the extra help that at least one needed in order to get to the top of the shaft.
And we are still waiting for the 23rd man to be brought to the surface. We hear the ring of the bell there. Carlos Bugueno, he's 27 years old. His job has been to help with Palomazol (ph) carrier pigeons, as they're known. That's the name given to the packages sent in and out via the tubes in the mines.
But keep an eye on that side of the screen as -- as I talk to my guests here in the studio with me. We've been talking about how it feels to be a Chilean today.
And, of course, you're working here in London, but you work for the -- one of the biggest Chilean newspapers here.
How will this help reconcile Chileans, do you think?
DANIELS: I mean Chile has been very dividend by the whole Pinochet legacy. The reconciliation started, really, when -- when Pinochet was arrested here in London, part of the Chileans feel that some justice was being done. Then Pinochet, a few years ago, died. So that process started.
But this really, for -- for a long time, is uniting Chileans on one cause, which is at last we can show that we -- if we work together, we can -- we can do amazing things.
ANDERSON: That's remarkable stuff.
Alfonso Daniels, who is here with me in London, a -- a correspondent for one of the biggest newspapers in Chile, just talking about how -- how this -- this event has galvanized Chileans, not just in the country, but around the world.
Have you been surprised by just what sort of response this story has had globally?
DANIELS: Well, it -- not that much, actually. Well, it's easy to say now, not really.
DANIELS: But I mean it's never been done before. Everyone expected these miners to be dead. In fact, initially, the international press didn't really cover this story at all. Suddenly this is happening and -- and it's actually a success story.
ANDERSON: Yes, fantastic. And as you speak, Alfonso, we hear the sirens going. We look at the winch there. And we anticipate the arrival at the top of the 23rd miner to be brought to the surface, Carlos Bugueno. He's 27 years old. He's been helping with the carrier pigeons, the name given to the packages sent in and out by the supply tubes in the mine.
Let's see if we can get some video up of Bugueno during his days underground, as we await his arrival up top from -- there you go. From one of the earlier video messages from the miners. He's said to be a close friend of fellow miner, Pedro Cortez, the two joining the mine at the same time. Cortez will be among the last few miners to be taken out by the Phoenix capsule.
And while we're on these pictures and we await the arrival of the 23rd man, I've got Alfonso Daniels with me here in the studio, a correspondent for one of Chile's biggest newspapers and Karl Penhaul, who is on the site at the mine -- Karl, as I say, the 23rd man making his way to the top.
What an emotional day.
KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Becky. An emotional day and an emotional night. This has been going on for nearly 18 hours now, and at this stage, the functioning of that Phoenix capsule seems to be a little bit routine. It's going up and down smoothly, it's going up and down much faster, in fact, than the technicians thought it would.
But what is far from routine is the moment that each miner steps out of that Phoenix capsule, the moment that he is reunited with his family. That Phoenix capsule is living up to its name, because these miners are metaphorically being reborn here as they get reunited with their families.
Some huge, huge hugs. We've seen miners taking a knee and just praying for the fact that they've come out of there alive. It's like, here, for example, Carlos Bugueno, 27-year-old, he went down the mine because in this part of Chile, well, it was a decent job with a more or less decent wage. He was saving up for a car and a house. The kind of small dreams that we all have.
And then, on August the 5th, of course, that mine collapsed. One of his biggest worries beyond, obviously, being trapped underground, but when he -- when he and the other 32 were found alive, in one of his first communications to his mother, he said, "Mum, please go to the work lockers." There were some work lockers where they left their backpacks and their clothes at the mouth of the mien. And he said, "Mum, please go back to my locker, I've left my last wage in there." Even as he was underground, struggling, fighting for life or death, he was still worried about saving for his house and for his car.
And another footnote about Carlos Bugueno, although it's not really a footnote, he was the creator of that domino set that we saw in the first video. He somehow found the materials to make that domino set. And that is certainly what helped those miners get through one of the first big periods of that underground captivity, which was the first 17 days when nobody knew they were alive.
But I wanted to take you to another scene, as well. And I'm just going to step out of the way for now. This is another family. This is the Lobos family. This is the family of the 27th miner who will come out of the hole, so there are four miners to go before this family gets --
ANDERSON: Let me just stop you there, my love --
PENHAUL: Their own loved one back. And they've been waiting here.
ANDERSON: Let me stop you there for one second, Karl, while we go back to the pictures of Carlos Bugueno as he makes his way to the top, here. We just want to see the Phoenix capsule as it comes out for those who may not have been glued to their sets all day. This is what it feels like -- or this is what it looks like as a miner emerges from those depths. It really is the ride of his life.
CROWD: Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!
(MEN SPEAKING IN SPANISH)
(MEN SPEAKING IN SPANISH)
ANDERSON: Bugueno's family member there. Those that are allowed to be there at this point. So many family members, of course, have had to leave the site. But there was the president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera.
SEBASTIAN PINERA, PRESIDENT OF CHILE (through translator): You don't know how your mother was waiting for you. Congratulations and welcome back to life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Hi, Carlos, how are you? Congratulations.
ANDERSON: That's the 23rd man up to the surface being congratulated by Sebastian Pinera, the Chilean president, saying, "Can't imagine what your mum was going through. Can't imagine what she was saying." And we've just seen him hugging his mum, and there -- just as some of the other rescuers, those who have been involved in what has been a most remarkable 18 and a half hours.
I've got ex-pat -- Chilean ex-pat Alfonso Daniels here with me in the studio. And again, this is the second time we've seen a man come up in the last half hour or so. I saw you smiling, I'm smiling, we all -- just sit back and listen, really. It's just amazing.
ALFONSO DANIELS, CHILEAN JOURNALIST: It's amazing to sit back, listen. You're happy but, also, you think, "Gosh, look what he was thinking, out trying to support his mother, despite what was happening, and that shows that Chile has huge inequalities. And the earthquake earlier this year revealed all that. I just hope as a Chilean that this will help the government finally to take measures to improve miners' lives and improve -- and really try to bridge this inequality.
So it's a bit of a mixed feeling. Very proud for being Chilean, but - - good point.
ANDERSON: And, of course, that will be the story as we move on, let's hope, that all of these men, and there are ten more left to come to the surface, that they all come to the surface safely.
But then, of course, the media spotlight will fade, won't it, Alfonso? And that's the next chapter of both these men's lives and Chile's life.
DANIELS: Exactly. It will fade, but you have a very strong -- at least we have -- this has created kind of public awareness of the problem. So there is hope that the Chileans themselves will pressure the government to take measures. They are already starting to take measures in mining. They're starting to talk about closing old mines that don't -- are not secure enough. So, there is hope that this would happen.
But yes, it will fade and, most probably, I think, the inequality will not be really breached by this government.
ANDERSON: We'll watch this story as it develops, and we'll keep in mind what you've been talking about. And we'll return to this story, of course, in the days and weeks ahead as we just see the last of the miners to be brought to the surface.
That's his mum talking to the Chilean president. And he has been there to welcome each of those 23 miners to the surface, and he will be there for the next ten. They are hoping that by midnight Chilean time -- it's about 3:00, 4:00 in the afternoon -- that midnight Chilean time these guys will be at the surface.
And it's got to be said, they are coming up an awful lot quicker than they were at the beginning of this process. You can see that the winch is working a lot faster. Perhaps they feel more confident at this stage that things are safe.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD's special coverage of the rescue at the San Jose Mine in Chile. After the break, we're delving into the dangerous of mining, from deadly accidents across the globe to much-needed safety reform. It's the lessons we can all learn from Chile that are important. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we watched it up until this morning, actually, when we saw the seventh or the eighth person that was rescued, and it's been really fascinating and really good documentary fodder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And we got 23 up at the top at this point, so a lot more men free since those guys were watching. The world is watching and waiting. There's some reaction from right here in London a little earlier in the day. All eyes are fixed on the San Jose Gold and Copper Mine in northern Chile as the rescue efforts continue throughout the night.
We are waiting on the 24th miner to emerge. That'll be Jose Henriquez. He's 54. Chile's mines have been something of a secondhand for him, though. He gives us 33 years of experience working in them. Some video of him during his time inside the mine.
Before the explosion, Henriquez warned that something was wrong with the mine. He served as a type of religious leader for the trapped miners, helping lead twice daily prayer sessions. He also loves music and, we're told, plays the guitar and the accordion.
Well, mining, of course, is a huge industry in Chile, but it's known for the danger that miners must face every day. We've heard at least one of the Chilean miners elude to, quote, "changes needing to be made for workers." Mario Sepulveda was the second man to emerge this morning. You heard from him a little earlier in the show. Here he is being reunited with his family.
Now, Mario gave a full interview following his rescue. Here's a clip of him speaking candidly, I've got to say, about the need for reform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIO SEPULVEDA, RESCUED MINER (through translator): I have faced many situations, but I think this was the hardest. But I am so happy that it happened to me, because I think that it was a time to make changes. And this country must understand once and for all that we can make changes. That many changes have to be made. We can't stay as we are.
I think that business people have to help so changes can be made as to workers. Things cannot stay the way they are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Interesting, eh? Mining in whatever form it takes is a truly global industry. Virtually every country in the world digs beneath its surface for some commodity. And wherever you go, it remains one of the most dangerous professions a person can choose.
Consider some of the recent disasters. Just a few months ago in West Virginia, an explosion killed 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch Mine. In March of 2007, 110 miners died in a similar accident in the Kemerovo region of Russia. In September, 2006, mine disaster in Kazakhstan claimed 41 lives. That same month, an explosion caused the mine roof to collapse in India, killing 50 miners. And the deadliest among these, 214 miners lost their lives in a gas explosion at a mine in northeastern China back in February, 2005.
So many disasters, then, but what lessons have we learned? Chile's president, Sebastian Pinera, has ordered a review of the mining safety laws. But how will this compare to standards set in countries with fewer accident rates, such as, for example, Canada and Russia?
Let's get more on this with a mining expert for you this evening. Mining professor Vic Pakalnis. He's at Queen's University in Kingston in Ontario. Sir, the next time that there is a mining disaster in China or in Russia, is this disaster in Chile going to have any impact on how it's dealt with?
VIC PAKALNIS, MINING PROFESSOR, QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY: Well, certainly the lessons learned that come from the inquiry that will be investigating why it happened in the first place, whether it was the design of the mine, the precautions that were taken, whether proper engineering was done in this particular case. All of that will be helpful for every mining operation in the world.
You should know that mining in Chile in the larger companies is quite safe. It's the small companies, like the one that was at -- that were involved here at San Jose, that are dangerous. Basically, the accident rates at this particular mine site are awful. And that's what they have to deal with --
ANDERSON: Sure, OK, but let me stop you there for a moment.
PAKALNIS: But the larger operations are quite safe.
ANDERSON: Let me stop you there for a moment while we just take a look at these pictures from earlier on. Let me -- 12,000 accidents, I'm told, a year in the industry, globally. And those are just the reported ones.
Let's get out of Chile for a moment and take ourselves elsewhere. For example, the industry in China. What's it going to learn from this?
PAKALNIS: Well, China has a fairly large -- a fairly high accident rate, that's for sure. But if you look at other jurisdictions, like the one that I come from here, the accident rates here in mining have been brought down from 13.2 per hundred down to 0.7 per hundred. An amazing story. So it can happen.
I think China will have to bring their accident rates down. They recognize that. But at this point, their accident rates are far too high, you're right.
ANDERSON: How have the rates been so reduced in your region?
PAKALNIS: Back about 30 years ago, the accident rates and the fatality rates were outrageously high, as they are in some corners of the world. And the industry, labor, and government decided to do something about it in terms of the technology, in terms of the mandatory training for miners and supervisors, in terms of the mining culture, the safety culture. All of that led to massive changes into what we see today. And it is a benchmark for the world.
ANDERSON: We're just seeing the Phoenix go to the bottom, there, to pick up Jose Henriquez.
PAKALNIS: This is a --
ANDERSON: Who will be the 24th miner to come to the surface. When you look at the industry globally -- we just talked about China, you look at Russia, you look at India, again, hot spots for accidents -- while the industry goes after and chases profit, these sort of accidents are going to continue, aren't they? Let's face it.
PAKALNIS: Essentially, the accident rates have to go down. They -- the societies that they live in won't tolerate having the high incidence of fatalities and accidents. And I think it is -- there are ways of bringing that down in terms of the technology that's used, in terms of the training, in terms of the safety measures that are put in. Especially, too, the enforcement that's done in the various jurisdictions.
So, we do have models around the world that have superb safety records, and that's what countries that have bad accident performance have to look at.
ANDERSON: Give me a sense, go on, of how you would rate and compare countries. Give me the top three and the bottom three, as it were.
PAKALNIS: Well -- that's difficult. But certainly some of the ones that you mentioned would be at the bottom three. But -- there are jurisdictions in Europe and, of course, I would put Canada in there as well, that would be in the top three.
ANDERSON: Fascinating stuff. It's been a joy to speak to you --
PAKALNIS: I think --
ANDERSON: As we see pictures of Jose Henriquez as he gets into the Phoenix capsule. The guys you see down there at the bottom of the mine, of course, are the rescue team. There are some six of them there, now. They'll be there until the last of these men get to the top.
I'm sorry, I butted in there. We're going to have to take a very short break. It's been a joy to speak to you. We thank you very much, indeed. Your mining expert this evening, looking at the industry globally and where its safety record is, perhaps, better and perhaps a little worse than that of the Chilean industry. We thank you for that.
Let's take a very short break. Computers, mobile phones, even the good old-fashioned TV set, people around the world are digesting this ongoing rescue in a number of different ways and, after the break, we're going to take a look and see how social media is weighing in after this. About 60 seconds away, stay with us.
ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. We're live, now, at the San Jose Mine in northern Chile, where the rescue operation still underway to free the remaining trapped miner. We are up to number 24, that's Jose Henriquez.
We've just seen the Phoenix capsule lift off, as it were, from the bottom of the shaft there. So we would expect him to be with us just after the top of this hour. It takes about between 10 and 12 minutes. A lot faster than it was at the beginning of this process. And if we get Henriquez to the surface safely, he will be the 24th miner to be rescued, and there remain nine miners below plus those rescuers, those six rescuers who are there with them.
This is Jose -- pictures from earlier, video from earlier. You'll recognize these pictures that we've brought you here on CNN over the last month or so. He's going to be a happy man when he makes it to the surface.
So, who said all news is bad news? Let's just, shall we, take a look at some of the tweets coming in today @beckycnn. Janet says, "Watching from South Korea, I really admire the miners for hanging in there and not losing hope."
Pauline Yow (ph) says she's watching from the Philippines. She tweets me, "Would like to tell them that from the other side of the world, we're cheering them on and we are proud."
Cayman Sue (ph) tweeting me @beckycnn today. "Where there is life, there is hope. Watching in Grand Cayman."
I've got to say that we've had tweets coming in from all over the world. This is truly a story that resonates around the world. Let's talk more about the digital response, shall we, to events at the mine with CNN.com's Aaron Brodie. And Aaron, there are a bunch of different ways, of course, that people are following this story. Talk me through some of them, if you will.
AARON BRODIE, CNN.COM: Well, Becky, we've got on CNN.com today, we have a ton of content that people can go to the website and check out. We've been talking about how all eyes are on this story. A lot of those eyes are watching our live feed today. You'll find it right here in the top center part, both of the international and the United States edition.
Underneath that, right here, is that big countdown meter that we've kind of put in, just special for today. It shows how many hours this is -- was started when they first lowered the capsule down with the first rescue personnel. How many miners are still under the ground. Right now, it's 10. And how many have been rescued, and that's 23. And I can promise you, that's being updated very, very frequently. Very immediately as a miner is brought out. We have that updated in a matter of seconds.
If you go right above that, you click that big play button we have right there on the home page, that'll take you to our live feed. And we have up to four live streams coming in from Chile at any given time. We're going to keep those up until the last person is out, assuming we have those feeds, that's our plan, is to have that up until the very last person is up. Even the rescue personnel. So three to four live streams.
Now, as those streams are going out, we're also tweeting every time somebody gets in that capsule and comes up. And I want to read to you -- you mentioned some of your tweets that you've received, Becky. Just a few we've gotten back at CNN.com.
"Having the CNN live feed open while work may be a mistake. It's making for a very emotional cubicle." And that points out that a lot of people are not able to watch CNN on television when they're at work. Instead, they watch it on their computer.
One that I really love, one tweet about the 14th miner. "Pigeon handler and poet? Tell me he's single."
BRODIE: Sounds like people are really starting to kind of build a little bit of attachment to some of these miners. And I will show you, here on the left hand side of the website where you can find out more about the miners. We have a gallery right here.
Actually, I'm probably -- let me go to this first, clicked on the wrong link. This is some of the most amazing photos that we have coming through from this story today. And I'll kind of go through a few of these. But just some emotional, truly, truly emotional moments. Fortunately, it's all very good emotions as these miners all emerge. And just amazing photographs coming out of Chile today.
Let me go back to the home page, and as I promised you, real quickly, I will show you the -- big gallery that we have of who the miners are. "Who they are" is what you want to click, and you'll see, this is the batch of miners we have here on the left hand side. This is kind of still our info graphic as we call it. Kind of shows you the layout and where these guys were trapped down here in the bottom.
But over here, you can click on any one of these miners and it will tell you a little bit of bio information about them. So that's how our Twitter audience is finding out who's who and kind of getting attached to them, as we said. So --
ANDERSON: Good stuff. And this is --
BRODIE: All of that and a lot, lot more at CNN.com.
ANDERSON: As we say, this is a human interest story, because it's about the men at the end of the day, isn't it? And all of that stuff you can find at CNN.com. Aaron, we thank you for that. We just heard the siren go off, which means the 24th man is on his way to the surface. I've got psychologist Jeff Gardere on the line with me as well.
And Jeff, just as we watch these shots of Jose Henriquez, who's the 24th man below the ground there to pop up and say hello to his family, friends, and the president there. Talk us through some of the emotions that family and miners will have been going through, if you will. We've talked this story before, but you've been watching these pictures now for what, 18 and a half hours. Your thoughts?
JEFF GARDERE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, Becky, as we know, with the families at Camp Hope who are right outside of this mine waiting for these two months or so, they had a lot of anxiety. They had a lot of agitation, a lot of angst. They seem to be much more nervous than the men who are underground.
But as we know, as the time came for the capsule, the Phoenix, to bring these men up one by one, their anxiety level was probably through the roof, no pun intended. And therefore, they were waiting to get out, they wanted to be out there.
Becky, what this has turned to is not a story of pathology. Yes, we know there'll be post traumatic stress disorder. Yes, we know they'll be depression coming back to the reality. But this is a story of people going through a transformation, being touched, being able to hit their highest human potential. That's really the story today and tomorrow.
ANDERSON: Have you been impressed by what you've seen from the miners as they've been underground and, indeed, what you've seen from the families above ground?
GARDERE: I've been very impressed from what I've seen below ground. These men have not given into the depression and anxiety, perhaps, that everyone thought that they would have. Instead, they have used this very unique experience, as horrific as it is, to become almost spiritual and be able to lift themselves to the highest of heights emotionally.
As for the families, yes we know there have been some fighting between them and so on. But that's to be expected. Wives versus girlfriends, some of that crazy stuff was going on. But for the most part, they were there for those miners, and I think this has changed all of their lives. But most importantly, I think it has changed our outlook as the audience that finally there's a ray of hope in all of the bad news that we've been talking about globally.
ANDERSON: Nine men still down there, with the imminent arrival of Jose Henriquez to the surface, and they're just getting ready to pop up here. What about those nine miners who are still down there, Jeff? How do they feel?
GARDERE: I think those nine men probably, of course, are very excited. They're happy that the other miners have gotten out. But I must tell you, I think there's probably some separation anxiety going on there in that they've not been with these guys. But the adulation, the celebration, I think, will stay with these nine men underground as we see this last man for this moment coming out.
ANDERSON: That's right. And as you cued him up perfectly, because as you said it, Jose Henriquez makes it to the surface. It is remarkable when you look at the size of that capsule, isn't it? Imagine it. It's only taking about ten minutes for those guys to make it through a half a mile's worth of solid rock. But it can't be a pleasant experience.
GARDERE: We were very concerned that they were already claustrophobic down there to begin with. And now to be in this -- almost this tomb, which really is a Phoenix, it has brought them back to life. It seems that they've been able to control their anxieties and get through. It seems the adrenaline of coming to the surface -- and as each man is coming out, has made them much, much stronger, and they're ready for their freedom right now.
ANDERSON: Let's listen in.
CROWD: Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!
(MEN SPEAKING IN SPANISH)
ANDERSON: Miner gets a hug from his wife. That's the 24th time, effectively, we've seen that today. A hug from a family member. Nine miners still, of course, below ground. You've been listening to Jeff Gardere, and we thank our psychologist for joining us here on CNN this evening.
GARDERE: Thank you.
ANDERSON: And just a recap for you. This is Jose Henriquez, 54 years old.
ANDERSON: Being welcomed by his wife, and we'll see in the corner of your screen -- he just disappeared. The Chilean president, he's been there for every single miner who's emerged. There he is, clapping his hands. I want to hand over to my colleague, Michael Holmes at this point. You've been watching CONNECT THE WORLD from the team here in London. It's a very good evening. "BackStory" up next.