The first of 33 trapped Chilean miners has been brought to the surface after having spent more than 2 months underground.
Rescue workers brought up 31-year-old Florencio Avalos in a special capsule from a depth of 700 meters at ten minutes after midnight on Wednesday, local time.
After reaching the surface, Avalos hugged and shook hands with his rescuers. He was reunited with his family, and was then escorted to a makeshift clinic nearby.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera told a news conference that the whole world watched Avalos being rescued, and it was truly moving. He thanked the workers, and expressed his determination to bring up all the miners.
The 33 men have been trapped since a cave-in on August 5th. Rescue preparations began after they were all confirmed alive 17 days later.
Three shafts were drilled to rescue the miners, and on Saturday, one of the shafts reached a tunnel leading to their shelter.
The miners are being brought to the surface in the capsule one by one. It is expected to take about an hour to rescue each miner.
Experienced miners are being brought up first because they are expected to be able to better cope with unforeseen situations. Miners with health problems will be next, followed by the physically fit.
Rescuing all the men will take about 2 days.