SAN JOSE MINE, CHILE - After more than 69 days trapped under the earth, all 33 of the Chilean miners have been safely rescued.
The 33 men were trapped in the mine on August 5 after a cave in blocked their escape. The men survived 17 days on rations in a survival shelter until a bore hole could be drilled into the cavern.
It was supposed to be a four-month process of drilling a hole large enough to fit the men but the process turned out to take far less time.
During the drilling process, supplies, food, medication and entertainment were sent down the small bore hole.
Experts from around the world flew in to Chile to provide drilling assistance and NASA employees joined the efforts to provide nutritional and physiological advice to the miners.
Beginning Tuesday, the rescue efforts began by lowering a 13-foot tall escape capsule, dubbed ?Phoenix? in reference to the mythical bird that rose from its ashes, into the enlarged bore hole.
Before the first miner was rescued, a medic was lowered into the mine to assist the miners in their ascent to the surface.
One by one, the miners rose to the surface to cheers and jubilation from the crowd of thousands as well as those who watched live broadcast across the world.
The rescue operation itself was slated to take roughly 48 hours but as the rescues progressed the pace quickened and in only 22 hours and 37 minutes all 33 miners were brought to the surface.
AP wires contributed to this report.
For footage of the trapped Chilean miners being rescued, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.
Rescue of Chilean miners progressing quicklyRescue of Chilean miners under way