A Beautiful End of Rescue Operation

Topics: Mining, Mining accident, Rescue Pages: 7 (2231 words) Published: December 17, 2010
A beautiful end of Rescue Operation
In the last two decades when the world has been plagued by terrorism, violence, war, poverty, disease and natural disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes, the pictures of the amazing operation of rescue of 33 miners trapped in the copper and gold mine in Copiapo in San Hose, Chile will probably go down as this decade's best loved story. Chile is a country in South America where mining for solid mineral resources take place. Earlier in 2010 the nation, which had celebrated 200 years of independence, suffered a devastating earthquake. Not long afterwards on August 5, 2010 the nation was abuzz with the scary news that 33 workers working at San Jose Mine in Copiapo town had been trapped underground. If it turned out that the workers had really been killed, analysts said the event would only go into the record books as the worst mine disaster at that depth of 700 meters below the earth surface. Copiapo in San Hose, Chile inhabited by about 300 people is located in one of the loneliest desert and driest place on earth. Very inaccessible and too inhospitable. To add to the dreary scenario, the workers were buried 700 meters in the mines dark, damp and hot chamber in the bowels of the earth. It was not possible for the workers to find their way to the earth surface through an escape shaft usually provided in mines. Rocks had blocked it. And, so, the workers became totally trapped. Their ordeal began. They were no longer mining for gold and copper but fighting for their lives. Every minute counted. For seventeen days, no contact was made with the workers. It was assumed they had all died and buried in the mine rubble unceremoniously LEADERSHIP:- Providing able leadership at the nation’s hour of need President Sebastian Pinera moved base from his Santiago headquarters out into the desert of San Jose mine in Copiapo. There, he along with some of his ministers and aides; as well as journalist’s rescuers circus show artistes, Chileans miner’s families/relatives and several other sympathisers set up CAMP HOPE. Meanwhile, attempt to rescue the trapped miners began in top gear. The Chilean national flag of red, yellow and green colour was flying everywhere in Camp Hope Patriotism was thick in the air. With firm resolve, everyone was waiting for the biggest rescue ever of trapped miners in the history of the industry. If the rescue fails, it would be the worst mining disaster in 60 years in the country life.

HISTORY OF INCIDENCE:-The Copiapo mining accident occurred on August 5 when the San Jose copper and gold mine collapsed, leaving 33 men trapped deep below ground. The San José Mine is about 45 kilometres north of Copiapó, in northern Chile. The miners were trapped at approximately 700 metres (2,300 ft) deep and about 5 kilometres, following the twists and turns of the main entrance shaft, from the mine entrance.

The mine had a history of instability that had led to previous accidents, including deaths. Chile has a long tradition in mining, which developed during the 20th century and made the country the world's top producer of copper. Since 2000, an average of 34 people have died every year in mining accidents in Chile, with a high of 43 in 2008, according to a review of data collected by the state regulatory agency.

The mine was owned by Empresa Minera San Esteban, which had a poor safety record and has suffered a series of mishaps, with several workers being killed in recent years. Between 2004 and 2010, the company received 42 fines for breaching safety regulations. The mine was shut down after an accident in 2007 when relatives of a miner who had died sued company executives but the mine was reopened in 2008, despite failing to comply with all regulations, a matter still under investigation.

Chilean copper mine workers are among the highest-paid miners in South America. Although the accident itself has put into question mine safety in Chile, serious...
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