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Hallelujah! The rescue of 33 miners is underway, with eight men already seeing sunlight and breathing fresh air so far.

The process of extracting 33 miners from a Chilean mine, where they have been trapped for more than two months, is going better than expected, the nation’s health minister told reporters Wednesday.

“Things are going extraordinarily well so far,” said Health Minister Jaime Manalich.

The first group of miners brought up were the younger men, who could best relay information back to the surface and in case of emergency would have been able to activate levers to liberate the rescue capsule, he said. Those miners with health conditions were being brought up afterward, he said.

The rescue capsule has behaved well, Manalich said, and was not rotating as much as officials had feared, reducing the likelihood that the men would become dizzy while being brought up to the surface.

The speed with which the rescue capsule ascends is getting shorter, he said. It required some scheduled maintenance, which delayed the rescues for a while, but all was proceeding according to plan, he said.

Continued…

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