SAN JOSE MINE, Chile - Rescuers have started pulling 33 trapped miners from a collapsed mine a half-mile underground in Chile.

So far, about half of the men have been pulled out.

First out was Florencio Avalos, who wore sunglasses to protecthim from the glare of bright lights. He smiled broadly as heemerged and hugged his sobbing 7-year-old son, Bairon, and wife,then got a bearhug from Chilean President Sebastian Pinera shortlyafter midnight local time.

When the last man surfaces, it promises to end a national crisisthat began when 700,000 tons of rock collapsed Aug. 5, sealing themen in the lower reaches of the mine.

AP wires contributed to this report.