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Gaza Fixer: A chronicle of survival
17 Aug 2011 15:42 GMT
One year ago the world watched as 33 Chilean miners were trapped 700 metres beneath the earth for more than two months after the San Jose mine collapsed on August 5, 2010 [EPA]
The mine in Chile(***)s Atacama desert first opened in 1840 and the collapse brought the mine(***)s checkered safety record into focus [Al Jazeera]
There have been accusations that the mine(***)s owners as well as safety authorities ignored signs that a cave-in was imminent and allowed the men to continue working [Al Jazeera]
For 17 days after the mine collapsed, nobody knew if the miners were dead or alive [EPA]
Rescue workers were desperately drilling bore holes to locate survivors [EPA]
Unbeknown to those on the outside, the miners found refuge in an emergency shelter and survived by strictly rationing their food and water [EPA]
Finally a drill broke through the shelter(***)s ceiling and a probe followed [EPA]
After receiving a handwritten note with the message "All 33 of us are fine in the shelter", Sebastian Pinera, the Chilean president, announced the rescue operation [EPA]
A second note from Mario Gomez explained to his wife that the men were confident rescuers would prevail: "We are going to get out with God(***)s help." [EPA]
Family and friends of the trapped miners camped out on an arid, rocky hillside near the mine, in a tent settlement dubbed "Camp Hope" [EPA]
After two months, rescue teams lifted the miners to the surface one by one in a narrow, missile-like capsule, nicknamed Phoenix [EPA]
It took roughly 16 minutes for each miner to be pulled up the shaft, although it was originally estimated that the journey would take half an hour [EPA]
The miners were checked by waiting doctors and flown to a triage centre for at least two days of check-ups [EPA]
After more than two months underground, all 33 miners were rescued from the collapsed copper mine to the excitement and relief of waiting family and friends [EPA]
From the mine to the Chilean capital, Santiago, and across the world, the unprecedented successful rescue operation prompted intense international media attention [EPA]
More than 800 journalists and cameramen gathered at the site to witness the rescue [EPA]
Chile(***)s president said that the San Jose mine would close forever, vowing to create safer conditions for those in the country(***)s biggest industry [EPA]
Pinera also said he would triple the budget of the mine safety agency Sernageomin, and created a commission to investigate the accident and recommend changes [EPA]
Mining provides more than 50 per cent of Chile(***)s export earnings, most of which comes from copper mining [Al Jazeera]
Despite advances in technology, mining remains a dangerous profession in the smaller mines in northern Chile, which employ about 10,000 people [Al Jazeera]
Since 2000, about 34 people have died every year on average in mining accidents in Chile [EPA]
For the 33 miners fame came after the rescue and since then they have enjoyed all expenses paid trips to several destinations [EPA]
They were invited as the honoured guests of top European football clubs [EPA]
And the miners and their families went on an eight-day pilgrimage courtesy of the Israeli tourism ministry [EPA]
Some of the Chilean miners and their families visited Greece at the invitation of a Greek mining company [EPA]
Toys referring to the 33 Chilean miners are sold in a Chilean chain of supermarkets [EPA]
They were declared heroes by world leaders and the global media [EPA]
But some of the miners say celebrity has not been what they expected [EPA]
Al Jazeera(***)s Lucia Newman returned to Copiapo to see how the rescued miners have been coping since the media left [Al Jazeera]
She discovered that the majority of the miners are still struggling to cope and that many of them are now unemployed [EPA]
Seven of the miners are still receiving psychological help, and many more say they, too, are not well [EPA]
Most of them are afraid to go back into mines, although they still identify as miners [Al Jazeera]
The movie rights have been sold, but fame has not brought the fortune they expected [EPA]
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