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October 12, 2010
Chilean miners rescued
SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) -- The first two of 33 men trapped in a collapsed mine were rescued early Wednesday after 69 days underground, pulled to fresh air and freedom at last in a missile-like escape capsule to the cheers of family and countrymen. Rescued first was Florencio Avalos, who wore a helmet and sunglasses to protect him from the glare of bright lights. He smiled broadly as he emerged and hugged his sobbing 7-year-old son, Bairon, and wife, then bearhugged Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and rescuers. A second miner, Mario Sepulveda Espina, was pulled to the surface about an hour later. After hugging his wife, he jubilantly handed souvenir rocks to laughing rescuers. After the first capsule came out of the manhole-sized opening, Avalos emerged as bystanders cheered, clapped and broke into a chant of "Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!" -- the country's name. Avalos gave a thumbs-up as he was led to an ambulance and medical tests after his more than two months deep below the Chilean desert -- the longest anyone has ever been trapped underground and survived. (29 images)

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In this photo released by the Chilean presidential press office, Chile's President Sebastian Pinera, front right, hugs rescued miner Florencio Avalos after Avalos was rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine where he was trapped with 32 other miners for over two months near Copiapo, Chile, Tuesday Oct. 12, 2010. AP / Jose Manuel de la Maza


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People celebrate as they watch on a giant TV screen, how Florencio Avalos, the first of 33 trapped miners, emerges to safety on a rescue capsule at the camp outside the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010. Thirty-three miners became trapped when the gold and copper mine collapsed on Aug. 5. AP / Dario Lopez-Mills



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Relatives and friends of trapped miners celebrate while watching on a TV screen the rescue operation of Florencio Avalos at the camp outside the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, late Tuesday Oct. 12, 2010. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Relatives of trapped miner Florencio Avalos react while watching on a TV screen his rescue operation at the camp outside the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, late Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010. Thirty-three miners became trapped when the gold and copper mine collapsed on Aug. 5. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Alfonso Avalos, right, father of trapped miner Florencio Avalos embraces a relative while watching on a TV screen the rescue capsule reaching the miners at the camp outside the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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In this photo released by the Chilean government, miner Florencio Avalos, second left, hugs a relative after he was rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine where he was trapped with 32 other miners for over two months near Copiapo, Chile, early Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. AP / Hugo Infante



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In this screen grab taken from video, rescuer Manuel Gonzalez Pavez, second left, is greeted by the trapped miners, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010 at San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile. AP /



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Rescue workers and engineers watch footage from a camera set up in the capsule that will be used to extract the 33 miners trapped as it goes down into the escape tunnel at the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010. AP / Jorge Saenz



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President Manuel Pinero, in red jacket next to the capsule, and other officials and rescue workers talk as rescue worker Manuel Gonzalez Paves is lowered in the capsule into the mine where miners are trapped to begin the rescue at the San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010. AP / Roberto Candia



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In this photo released by the Chilean presidential press office, Chile's President Sebastian Pinera, sitting bottom right holding hard hat, and his Mining Minister Laurence Golborne, second from left in red jacket, meet with relatives of the 33 trapped miners at the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, Tuesday Oct. 12, 2010. AP / Jose Manuel de la Maza



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A man waves a Chilean flag while he waits the rescue of 33 trapped miners out of the San Jose mine, near Copiapo, Chile on October 12, 2010. AFP/Getty Images / Hector Retamal



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Wearing a cap with the colors of the Chilean flag, Paulino Mesa, uncle of Raul Bustos, takes a nap at the relatives camp at the San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Relatives of trapped miner Dario Segovia sleep at their tent at the relatives camp at the San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Maria Silva, the mother of the Avalos brothers, trapped inside the San Jose mine, reacts while speaking with the press, hours before the start of the rescue operation, near Copiapo, Chile on October 12, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Hector Retamal



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A girl peeks her head out of a tent at the Esperanza camp in the San Jose mine near Copiapo, some 800 km north of Santiago on October 11, 2010. AFP/Getty Images /



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The T130 drill leaves the operations area after completing the job, at San Jose mine, near Copiapo, Chile, October 11, 2010. AFP/Getty Images / Ariel Marinkovic



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Berta Avalos and Cristian Suarez, right, relatives of trapped miners Florencio and Renan Avalos, embrace at the camp where relatives wait for news outside the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, Monday Oct. 11, 2010. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Celestina Burgueno, right, and Nelly Burgueno, relatives of trapped miner Victor Zamora Burgueno, embrace at the camp where relatives wait for news outside the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, Monday Oct. 11, 2010. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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In this handout from the Chilean goverment, rescue workers practice a dry run with one of the capsules that will be used to rescue trapped miners October 11, 2010 at the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile. Getty Images / Pool



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In this frame grab from a video released by the Chilean government, a camera set up on top of the capsule that will carry the trapped miners to the surface shows the tunnel as it is going up during a test at the San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile, Monday, Oct. 11, 2010. AP / Anonymous



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Soldiers arrive at the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. AP / Jorge Saenz



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A man stand at the camp where journalists wait for the rescue of trapped miners outside the San Jose mine, near Copiapo, Chile, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Relatives of trapped miners prepare to board a bus at the the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, Saturday Oct. 9, 2010. AP / Jorge Saenz



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A man holds a Chilean flags on a hill as people celebrate below after one of the drills working to rescue the 33 finally reached their shelter in the San Jose mine play at La Esperanza encampment, near Copiapo, Chile, October 9, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Rodrigo Arangua



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Jessica Cortez, wife of miner Victor Zamora, and his son Arturo talk at the encampment in the San Jose mine, near Copiapo, Chile, October 8, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Hector Retamal



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A relative of one of the 33 miners trapped lights a candle during a vigil outside the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile, Thursday Oct. 7, 2010. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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A relative of one of the 33 miners trapped holds a Chilean flags with the names of the miners written on it, as she lights a candle during a vigil outside the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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A relative of one of the miners trapped in the shafts of the San Jose mine, walks amid the tents of La Esperanza encampment, near the city of Copiapo, in the arid Atacama desert, 800 kilometers (480 miles) north of Santiago, on October 7, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Martin Bernetti



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An aerial view of the Rig 421 or plan C drill, one of three drills working in the rescue operation of 33 trapped miners at the San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010. AP / Roberto Candia



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