Chile: mine safety problems, but great human spirit and ingenuity

Final rescue

Image by Rescate Mineros via Flickr

Regarding the underlying causes of the mine accident: Chile mine rescue shows how far mine safety has come; The Chile mine rescue effort is believed to be the deepest ever and the survivors have been underground longer than anyone who has made it out alive. Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 13.

“Hopefully no one ever again has to do anything like this,” said Alonso Contreras, a cousin of Barrios. “Never again.”  That’s the sentiment of mine safety experts worldwide who are hoping that the saga will become a lesson for the mining industry, in Chile, the region, and the rest of the world.

This rescue effort is believed to be the deepest ever and the survivors have been underground longer than anyone who has made it out alive. It’s also one of the most advanced of its kind, and it could help other countries and firms increase their standards moving forward, but first an analysis of what exactly went wrong…

“The situation illustrates the need for stronger regulations and enforcement of existing regulations in the mining sector across Latin America” and the globe, says Mr. Slack.

About the Miners: Miners Defy Dire Predictions on Fitness and Spirit, NY Times, Oct. 14.

Defying grim predictions about how they would fare after two months trapped underground, many of the Chilean miners came bounding out of their rescue capsule on Wednesday as pictures of energy and health, able not only to walk, but, in one case, to leap around, hug everyone in sight and lead cheers.

The miners’ apparent robustness was testimony to the rescue diet threaded down to them through the tiny borehole that reached them on Aug. 22, but also to the way they organized themselves to keep their environment clean, find water and get exercise. Another factor was the excellent medical care they received from Chilean doctors who ministered to them through tubes leading 2,300 feet into the earth.

One more short article from the NY Times blogger, Andrew Revkin:

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