The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration Assistant Secretary Joseph A. Main released the following statement in response to the successful rescue of 33 Chilean miners who had been trapped in an underground copper mine for 69 days, following a massive cave-in on Aug. 5: "We join the rest of the world in celebrating the most successful rescue in mining history.
On behalf of the many Americans who provided support for the mission and prayers for the miners, we offer sincere words of praise to the rescue team for its well-coordinated operation. We in the mine rescue community will study and learn from this highly successful experience, with the hope that we'll never need to employ its valuable lessons.
"The miners themselves deserve a great deal of credit for their survival skills, not only during the initial 17 days when their fate was uncertain, but throughout the entire 69-day ordeal. They have made their fellow miners proud, and the world now knows what many of us have known all along – that miners are truly a special kind of people."
Source: U.S. Department of Labor