Chile Mine Rescue PHOTOS: Efforts In Pictures
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Their day-to-day struggle for survival has captivated the world for more than two months. As each of the men trapped underground in Chile's San Jose Mine ascend to the surface one by one, they are greeted as heroes -- by ecstatic relatives, joyous friends and a transfixed global audience watching remotely.
By midday on Wednesday, nearly half of the 33 men had been successfully rescued including the oldest and youngest among the trapped. No one in recorded history has survived underground -- with no access to sunlight or fresh air -- as long as these men. By all accounts, the efforts seem to be running smoothly, and are on track to finish before sunrise Thursday.
View dramatic photos of the Chilean mine rescue efforts here:
Rescued miner Jose Ojeda, left, is seen inside a Chilean Air Force helicopter.
Relatives and friends of rescued miner Jorge Galleguillos celebrate while watching on a TV screen.
Edison Pena speaks to a paramedics.
Bolivia's President Evo Morales, left, speaks during a joint news conference with his Chilean counterpart Sebastian Pinera.
Morales, center right at rear, gestures as rescuers operate the capsule that is bringing the trapped miners to the surface from the collapsed mine.
Miner Jorge Galeguillos gives a thumbs up after being rescued.
Miner Mario Gomez gestures after exiting the capsule.
Miner Juan Illanes is carried away on a stretcher.
Bolivian miner Carlos Mamani Solis is rolled away on a stretcher.
Miner Jose Ojeda holds a Chilean flag as he exits the capsule during his rescue.
Roxana Gomez, center, daughter of miner Mario Gomez, reacts while watching on TV the rescue operations for her father.
Confetti flies as Rolando "Rolly" Gonzalez, a miner who doubles as a clown, stands with relatives and friends of trapped miner Mario Gomez celebrating Gomez' rescue.
Nelly Villalobos, relative of rescued miner Jorge Galleguillos, reacts while watching on a TV screen.
Alfonso Avalos(C) father of Chilean miner Florencio Avalos celebrates after Florencio was brought to the surface.
Relatives of trapped miners watch TV following the rescue operation.
People celebrate in Copiapo after the start of the rescue operation.
Alfonso Avalos(R) father of Chilean mine
Alfonso and Wilson Avalos, left, father and brother of Chilean miner Florencio Avalos respectively, embrace each other.
Chilean miner Osman Araya (in beige and green suit) embraces his wife Angelica as he steps out of the Fenix capsule.
Chilean miner Jorge Galleguillos (L) gives the thumbs up.
Miner Jimmy Sanchez is helped out of the capsule.
Locals cheer in Copiapo square before the start of the rescue operation of the 33 trapped miners.