|Published:||Oct 14, 2010 12:55 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 13, 2010 7:17 AM EDT|
SAN JOSE MINE, Chile - The trapped miners in Chile are finally being freed. They're being pulled to safety in a capsule barely wider than a man's shoulders. Emotions are running high at the rescue site.
One by one, miners are trading their underground chamber for the arms of their families. It's an emotional breakthrough has captured Chile and the world.
Florencio Avalos was the first to be freed. He hugged his tearful seven year old son and his wife.
The second miner to emerge couldn't contain his excitement. He jokingly handed out souvenirs - rocks, of course - to rescuers and embraced just about everyone he could get his hands on.
Miner Mario Sepulveda says he never thought he would die in the mine because he has so many more years to share with his family.
Chile's President said the faith of the trapped miners has "moved mountains" and made the "miracle" of their rescue possible.
Each miner to reach the surface in the specially-designed rescue capsule brought new hope to those waiting.
Niece of trapped miner, Georgina Galleguillo can't wait to hug her uncle. She says you feel like crying, but the happiness is huge.
Not everybody is as fit as the first few to be winched to freedom.
Some of the miners are suffering from hypertension, diabetes and respiratory infections.
All the men will receive medical treatment after spending more than two months, 2,000 feet down.
Nobody has ever been trapped for that long underground and lived to tell about it.
Psychologists have warned that once the celebrity status fades for the miners, they may struggle to return to normal life. Chilean authorities have offered at least six months of psychiatric follow-up to the men who are now national heroes.