Copiapó, Chile mining accident: in depth

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The rescue of the Chilean miners trapped in the San José Mine in Copiapó, codenamed Operación San Lorenzo (San Lorenzo Operation), began on Tuesday night, at around 20:00 local time (23:00 UTC).

Florencio Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, at 00:12 local time (03:12 UTC) on Wednesday. He was wearing a shirt signed by all his fellow miners. “The first miner is already with us. We saw it all, him hugging his wife Monica and his son Byron,” said President Piñera shortly after the first rescue. “We still have a long journey.”

“This will be recorded on every single Chilean heart forever,” Piñera added. “I hope the miners’ hope stay with us, just like the [February] earthquake victims’ [hope] and what the earthquake took off. We know that the disasters unite us all.”

All the 33 miners were rescued. The last miner, Luis Urzúa, was rescued at 21:55 Chile time (00:55 UTC). “It is a pleasure to be Chilean, [I’m] proud,” said Luis Urzúa to President Piñera. “In honour of the miners, their families, the rescuers […] let’s sing our national anthem. Viva Chile Mierda!,” said Piñera. Urzúa thanked Mining Minister Golborne and the First Lady Cecilia Morel for “fighting for their lives.” “I’m proud of my fellow miners,” Urzúa added.

Six rescuers, including a miner and a paramedic, descended to the miners’ shelter using the Fénix 3 capsule which was specially constructed for the rescue. They performed check-ups and talk with the miners before taking them back to the surface. The rescuers still don’t leave the mine.

The Fénix 3 capsules are 3.95 metres in height and weigh about 460 kilograms. They have an armour, an oxygen tube and a microphone. The occupants helmets contain an intercom to keep them in contact with the rescue team on the surface.

President of Chile Piñera assisted to the rescue. Bolivian President Evo Morales could not attend Carlos Mamani’s rescue. Mamani is the only Bolivian miner in the group.

A mass for the miners was conducted at 18:00 local time (21:00 UTC). The rescue takes between 15 and 20 minutes for each miner.

On Tuesday, Mayor of Copiapó Maglio Cicardini announced that the municipal schools in the city will have no classes this Wednesday “to transform the rescue of the Atacama’s 33 in a familiar meeting,” Radio Cooperativa reported.

“The miners will be taken to the Copiapó Regional Hospital for medical checkup, where they will have to stay for 48 hours,” Health Minister Mañalich said to Televisión Nacional de Chile.

Celebrations are taking place in several Chilean cities. In Santiago de Chile, people gathered in one of the most important points of the city, Plaza Italia. In Pichilemu, tens of cars are passing over its most important streets. In Copiapó, people gathered in its main square to assist a massive concert.

On August 5, 33 miners were trapped more than 700 meters (2,300 ft) underground, in the San José copper–gold mine, located about 40 kilometers north of Copiapó, Chile.

The youngest trapped miner is 19 years old, and the oldest is 63. There were several rescue attempts before reaching the miners’ shelter on August 22. The National Emergencies Office of Chile (ONEMI) released a list of the trapped miners on August 6, which included Franklin Lobos Ramírez, a retired footballer.

Chile is the worlds top producer of copper, according to The Economist. The San José Mine is owned by the San Esteban Mining Company (Empresa Minera San Esteban). The mine was closed down in 2007, after relatives of a miner who had died sued the company executives, but the mine was re–opened in 2008.

It was originally estimated that “it would take three to four months to complete the rescue of the trapped miners”. There were three plans to reach the miners: “Plan A” using a Strata 950 drill, “Plan B” using a Schramm T130XD drill, and “Plan C” using a RIG-422 drill. The first to reach the miners was “Plan B”, early on Saturday 9.

The last step of their rescue, announced by Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, was originally due to begin on Tuesday. Laurence Golborne, Minery Minister said “If it is possible, and the cement sets before and we don’t have any impediments to doing it, it would be wonderful,” in a press conference on Monday. The men will be extracted in a steel rescue capsule 54 cm (21 inches) in diameter.

On September 4, Chilean filmmaker Rodrigo Ortúzar announced plans to film a movie about the accident, called “Los 33” (“The 33”). The film will be released in 2011.

One miner is Bolivian, and the other 32 are Chilean.

Raúl Bustos, 40 years old, is an hydraulics engineer. He left his job in Talcahuano after the February 27 earthquake to work in the mine.

Daniel Herrera, 27 years old, is a lorry driver. He has acted as paramedic assistant in the mine. He said to La Tercera “the miners were unhappy with the psychologist in the rescue team.”

Claudio Acuña, miner, is fan of the Colo-Colo football club. The BBC reports he is aged 56, but El Comercio says he is 44.

Pedro Cortez is aged 24. He joined the mine with his friend Carlos Bugueño. Cortez is an electrician, and lost a finger in the mine a year ago.

File:Juan Aguilar with President Piñera.jpg

A native of Los Lagos, Juan Aguilar is 49 years old. Aguilar is married to Cristy Coronado, according to El Comercio. Aguilar works as a supervisor.

Mario Sepúlveda is a 39 years old electrician native of Parral; he is married. He has been the spokesman of the most of the miners’ videos. Mario Sepúlveda was the second miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 01:10 local time (04:10 UTC).

Víctor Zamora is a 33 years old auto mechanic. Zamora is married to Jéssica Cortez, who confirmed she was pregnant while he was in the mine.

Osman Araya is 30 years old, and married. He began working as miner four months before the accident.

Florencio Ávalos is 31 years old. He is the brother of Renán Ávalos, who is also trapped in the mine. He worked as driver in San José. Ávalos filmed videos, sent later to his relatives.

Ávalos was the first miner to be rescued, on Wednesday at 00:10 local time (03:10 UTC).

Jorge Galleguillos, 56 years old, has worked all his life in the mine. He said in one video he was feeling unwell; he takes medication for hypertension.

Carlos Barrios is a 27 years old miner. His father, Antenor Barrios, told Agence France-Presse: “I find he’s very strong and has enthusiasm. He spoke loud and clear. I was excited.”

Franklin Lobos Ramírez is a 53 years old retired footballer. He played for Cobresal, Deportes Antofagasta, Club de Deportes Santiago Wanderers and Unión La Calera, and briefly for the Chile national football team. Lobos had worked as a truck driver in the mine.

Yonni Barrios, called “The Doctor”, is a 50 years old electrician. He has knowledge of first aid, and was given responsibility for monitoring the health of his colleagues. “I felt I was in hell,” Barrios said in a letter to his wife.

Carlos Bugueño, 27 years old, joined the mine with Pedro Cortez. Previously, he worked as a watchman.

Alex Vega Salazar is a 31 years old heavy machinery mechanic. He is married to Jessica Salgado, and celebrated his birthday in the mine on September 22.

Ariel Ticona is a 29 years old miner. His wife, Margarita gave birth to his daughter on September 14. She was named Esperanza (Hope), at Ticona’s request.

Richard Villarroel is a 27 years old mechanic from Coyhaique.

Edison Peña is a 34 years old miner. “I want to go out soon,” he said on his first contact with his relatives. “I want to be free, I want to see the sun,” he added. He is a fan of Elvis Presley.

Claudio Yáñez is 34 years old, and works as drill operator.

José Ojeda, 46 years old, is the master driller. Ojeda is widowed and diabetic.

Luis Urzúa is a 54 year old topographer. He is the shift-leader, and was the first miner to talk with authorities. He is known as Don Lucho among the miners. He draw plans of the area of the mine where they are trapped.

Urzúa will be the last miner to leave the mine.

José Henríquez is a 54 years old drill master. He is also an evangelical preacher, and has worked in mines for 33 years.

Víctor Segovia is a 48 years old electrician. He is in charge of writing down everything that happens in the mine.

Pablo Rojas is a 45 years old explosives loader. Married, he had been working less than six months in the mine.

Juan Illanes is a 51 year old miner. He was a sergeant in the Beagle border conflict between Chile and Argentina in 1978, the incident which almost provoked a war between the countries.

Illanes was rescued on Wednesday, at 02:07 local time (05:07 UTC).

Jimmy Sánchez, 19, is the youngest miner. He had been working in the mine for five months before the accident. His role is to check the temperature and humidity in the mine.

Samuel Ávalos is a 43 years miner. His wife Ruth said “he was addicted to the cocaine.” His role in the rescue is to check air quality in the area the miners are living. According to the BBC, “Ávalos has worked in the mine for five months.”

Mario Gómez, aged 63, is the oldest of the miners. He has worked 51 years as miner. His father was also a miner, and is nicknamed “El Navegao” (“The Sailed One”). He was thinking of retiring in November.

Gómez also wrote the message “Estamos bien en el refugio los 33” (“We are fine in the shelter the 33 [of us]”).

Segovia is 48 years old. He is married to Jessica Chille, who said “To hear his voice was a confort to my heart,” after talking with him for the first time in 24 days. His sister María, was nicknamed “La Alcaldesa” (“The Mayoress”) for her leading role at Campamento Esperanza. His father, Darío Senior, was trapped in a mine for a week, and suffered serious injuries after two other mining accidents, according to the BBC.

Carlos Mamani is a 23 years old heavy equipment operator. He is also the only non-Chilean miner; Mamani is Bolivian. He began working in the mine just five days before the accident.

He was rescued at 03:11 local time (06:11 UTC) on Wednesday.

Renán Ávalos is a 29 years old miner, single, who had been working for five months in the mine before the accident. Florencio Ávalos is his brother.

Omar Reygadas is a 56 year old electrician. He began working in the mine shortly before the accident.

Esteban Rojas is a 44 years old miner. Rojas is married to Jessica Yáñez.

Canada’s Scarborough-Agincourt (Ward 39) city council candidates speak

This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Friday, November 3, 2006

On November 13, Torontonians will be heading to the polls to vote for their ward’s councillor and for mayor. Among Toronto’s ridings is Scarborough-Agincourt (Ward 39). Two candidates responded to Wikinews’ requests for an interview. This ward’s candidates include Wayne Cook, Mike Del Grande (incumbent), Samuel Kung, Lushan Lu, Sunshine Smith, and John Wong.

For more information on the election, read Toronto municipal election, 2006.

Errant monkeys draw the ire of Delhi court

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Delhi High Court expressed its displeasure to the civic authorities on their continued failure to resolve the problem of marauding monkeys in the court premises. The court was in session when the public interest litigation filed by a Supreme Court lawyer was brought to its attention.

The petitioner Mr.Nirmal Chopra argued the case and explained how the simians showed up during work hours and attacked people and snatched food from them. The rhesus monkeys have also been blamed for damaging furniture belonging to the lawyers and courtroom fixtures such as electrical fittings. According to Mr.Chopra India‘s Wildlife Act of 1972 empowers civic authorities to kill or hunt animals when they endanger human life. He said that the lawyers from the Tis Hazari court had requested the state government and the municipality to tackle the situation but no action had resulted.

The lawyer for the civic authority was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying that catching monkeys was no longer its responsibility. The court was informed that a monkey catcher hired by the municipality had required 72 stitches after being mauled during an operation. After this incident the work had to be halted because other monkey catchers refused to take up the job.

The court gave the civic authority four more weeks to catch the monkeys that are disrupting work at the Tis Hazari courts. “If you cannot perform your statutory duty, then close down your institution” the court is reported to have told the counsel.

Delhi is known to suffer from trouble brought on by monkeys. The animals are reported to invade homes, schools and government offices in the city. Scores of animals have moved in as the city expands into surrounding forests. In an effort to control the problem, the Delhi administration captured about 500 monkeys and took them to the outskirts of the city last year.

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New Zealand Qantas Television Awards announced

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The 2006 QANTAS New Zealand Television Awards were announced tonight (NZDT). The winners and their respective categories follow.

Best comedy finalists were pulp sport, bro’Town and The Unauthorised History of New Zealand with Pulp Sport taking out the prize.

The best observational reality (non format) show out of Snotties, The Zoo and Tough Act was Snotties.

Best reality (format) show finalists were Downsize Me!, Sensing Murder and Shock Treatment. The winner being Sensing Murder.

Best current affairs report finalist were Alex Teka, Detox Diary, Not Fit to Practise and Turning the Tide. The winner was Detox Diary.

Best news or current affairs presenter of the year finalists were Shane Taurima, Willie Jackson, John Campbell and Susan Wood. Winner was John Campbell, the prize was awarded to him by his producer, Carol Hirschfield. Mr Campbell was “stupidly proud.”

No finalist was for the award of TV journalist so the winner was Mike McRoberts and the first thing he said when he arrived on stage was: “Crikey dick.”

Peter Day was awarded for current affair camera. Current affairs reporter was Hadyn Jones. The best news or current affairs editor was Shahir Daud.

Lifestyle and information programme finalists were House Trap, Target and The Living Room. The winner was Target.

The best popular documentary section finalists were Give My Children Back, Earthquake and Million Dollar Tumour (all of which aired on TV3). The winner was Million Dollar Tumour.

The best arts/festival documentary was Artsville.

The best factual camera was awarded to David Stipson. Paul Sutorius was the best factual editor.

Geoff Husson got the award for the best non-drama director.

The winner of favourite female, as voted by the public “by a country mile”, was Hillary Barry.

Public voted favourite male was Simon Dallow taking the award, who was “lost for words…truly shocked…”

The favourite programme nominees were Shortland Street, Outrageous Fortune, NZ Idol, Sensing Murder, Downsize Me!, Dancing With The Stars, Target and bro’Town. The winner was, as voted by the public, Shortland Street.

Grey’s Anatomy won the best international programme as voted by the public.

Best sports or event coverage out of Na Ratou Mo Tatou, V8 Supercars Pukekohe or 3 News election night was Na Ratou Mo Tatou (ANZAC day coverage).

Best entertainment nominees were What Now; the Gunge and Run Awards, Dave Dobbyn; One Night in Matata and Snatch out Booty and the winner was Dave Dobbyn; One Night in Matata.

The best non factual script writer went to David Brechin-Smith.

Fred Renata, best camera non factual, and best editing for non-factual went to Bryan Shaw.

The best drama director went to Brendan Donovan.

Finalists were for best news report team are, “David-Benson Pope” on 3 News, “Robert Hewitt” on One News and “Gaza” on 3 News. Winner was 3 News for “Gaza”.

“The most important category.” Best current affairs show finalists were Fair Go, Sunday, Campbell Live. Winner was Campbell Live, when on stage Mr Campbell said: “Bloody Stoked.”

Best news finalists were 3 News and One News and the winner was One News.

Bruce Adams was awarded with best news camera.

Best news reporter was given to Michael Holland.

Best children/youth programme winners was Let’s Get Inventin’.

Best actress finalists were Kate Atkinson, Robyn Malcolm and Kate Elliot. The award was awarded to Kate Elliot.

Best actor finalists were Antony Starr, Ryan O’Kane and Scott Wills and the winner was Ryan O’Kane.

The last award, best drama, the finalists were The Insiders Guide to Love, Doves of War, Outrageous Fortune. The winner of best drama was The Insiders Guide to Love.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Interview with Glen Stollery of

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Glen Stollery is a New Zealand website developer who created the site in mid 2005. The site, which is a parody of Tom Cruise and his involvement with the Church of Scientology, became the centre of controversy when it was served with a number of cease and desist orders initiated by the Church. On March 19, 2006, Glen issued a media release stating that his web hosting provider, YouTube, had removed videos of Tom Cruise which formed part of the site. The release suggested that YouTube had taken this action under external pressure from Cruise or Viacom.

Responding to a query by Wikinews reporters, YouTube stated “We have not received a DMCA notification letter from Viacom.” The Church of Scientology was offered the opportunity to respond to the claims made by Stollery during the interview. No reply was received.

This exclusive interview deals with these issues and others relating to the website. It was conducted with Glen via email between March 21 and April 3, 2006.