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Last Rescue Worker Back on Surface

Aired October 13, 2010 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, welcome back to 360.

We are live all the way through the midnight hour, bringing you the latest. This operation still underway, history still being made tonight, still unfolding in Chile in a remote region where we have been witnessing truly something no one else has ever seen before. Thirty-three men, never have so many men been underground for so long and been brought back alive.

One man still down below, the fifth rescue worker heading to the surface right now. Obviously you can see kind of the mood of -- has lifted. There's levity. There's nothing but smiles all around. Such a different scene than it was 24 hours ago at this time, before that first person had emerged, before the first miner had emerged when no one was sure, would the tunnel hold.

Would the capsule work? Would everything go according to plan? And it has gone according to plan without any doubt. And we have seen it, witnessed it every step of the way.

The men who helped bring 33 trapped miners out, more than two months of confinement underground, now themselves heading home. Let's remember -- and here he is, this is the fifth rescuer.

I'm sorry. This is tape from earlier today. They chose the mission, they are risking their lives going down, now coming back up. This is one of the rescuers -- rescue workers emerging from the tunnel earlier tonight. Right now all but one rescuer have made it back alive.

Being thanked by the minister and head of the mines, being thanked for all he's done, for representing his country. The last miner, I want to show you the moment that we witnessed in the 9:00 hour tonight, the last miner, Luis Urzua, leaving the -- leaving the mine.




COOPER: This moment happened about two hours ago, him being cheered on by the rescue workers who stayed underground. Six men underground. Then the other moment I want to show you is what happened after he emerged on the surface. There you see the rescuers hugging each other. A job nearly completed. This is the last miner out alive, Luis Urzua, arriving earlier tonight.

The lifting going faster than at first, the entire operation proceedings a lot quicker than expected. Let's just listen.

The reports to the Chilean president -- a report to the Chilean president saying that they're in perfect condition. When it was over, Urzua spoke with Chile's President, Sebastian Pinera. Take a look, let's listen.


LUIS URZUA, LAST MINER RESCUED (through translator): We were all so happy. Morale could -- would fall, but we had strength.

SEBASTIAN PINERA, PRESIDENT OF CHILE: We had strength for the workers who tell them what had happened. And your son was here, your family was here. They never lost hope. Every time I came to the mine, they said, they're alive. They're alive. They're alive.

URZUA: I think I believe those of us who had faith, that held on to hope, that someday we'll be rescued. We thank God. That the first 17 days -- the first 17 days you almost didn't eat, we had very little food. The last days -- we were eating very little, because we want to leave something for later.

PINERA: You haven't seen your daughter Noelia (ph). We love you. You deserve to celebrate.

I think this is a moment in history. There's a reason why God does things. I hope this will be for the best. Maybe this will be an example. You are not the same. And the country is not the same after this. You are an inspiration. Go -- go hug your wife and your daughter.


COOPER: And that, he certainly did. This, the fifth rescue worker now about to emerge. Let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now the doctor's not going to look at you because you're (INAUDIBLE).

PINERA (through translator): You have accomplished your mission. Congratulations. Great job. Great job.

COOPER: And you see behind, very quickly, they're trying to get that pod back in the ground, back for the last rescue worker, the last rescue worker to emerge, Manuel Gonzalez. If the name sounds familiar, he was also the first rescue worker in the ground.

In a moment we're going to go to Gary Tuchman who is live on the scene. And as we do, I want to try to pull the videotape from the first -- from Manuel Gonzalez from 24 hours ago when he first went down, and first got -- made contact. I want to be able to show you the moment that these miners first met Manuel Gonzalez, the first human contact they had had, just to bring this full circle, so that we have the moment Manuel Gonzalez went down. We'll also bring you live the moment he leaves this mine. The last human being left down in this mine.

Let goes to Gary Tuchman now, who has been on the scene now for a very long 24-hour period. Gary, we are very close to seeing -- to being able to say once and for all that this has been a completely successful operation, and that everybody has been brought back alive. One person left.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Anderson, on a very cold night in the north Chilean desert, there's a very warm feeling because of that success. All 33 miners are safe and are back home, and probably within the next 15 minutes, all the mine rescue experts will be out of the mine, and the mine, that tunnel, 2,100-foot tunnel, will be empty forever.

You know, it was exactly 24 hours ago precisely to the minute, Anderson, that the first miner came out right behind us. And at that point, it was just an amazing moment. Our hearts were in our throats. We were also quiet the journalists up here because we were so concerned and worried. We weren't necessarily sure this would work.

They had tested this capsule before; they tested it without human beings. So when they sent the mine expert down, a half hour before that and he made it to the bottom, the dungeon, the so-called dungeon they were in, that was a great relief but then the miner came up. And when he arrived here, there was a great feeling of relief among everybody, the family, the friends and the journalists here and all of our viewers all over the world were watching.

The tension was then released. There was a lot of relief. But seeing the emotion there all of a sudden the miners arrived, from family members, from their friends, was just overwhelming. You can just never get tired of it. And these miners are so fortunate in so many ways, fortunate they were rescued. Fortunate they survived underground they were found.

But really fortunate something we haven't talked about very much, but they survived the initial collapse on August 5th. I mean the geology of this area, it's full of boulders and tons of boulders coming to the mines. Like right where I'm standing right now, here's an example, here's one of the boulders just sticks -- sticking around right here.

Now, if this boulder by itself falls on your head, it'll kill you. It's just one boulder. There were 33 miners together, none of them got hit by the boulders, none of them got hit by the tons of rubbles but they were trapped. And that's the point we have to bring up. There is a possibility and when you think about, it -- it makes you quite scared for them, that maybe they wouldn't have been found ever.

But they were found, they have been rescued, and it's a really good news story, a great ending over this 24-hour period -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. And we're waiting now the capsule moving down to get Manuel Gonzalez, the last rescuer to leave this mine. The last human being left in this mine, also the first rescuer, as I said, to greet the miners.

I just want to show you the video that we were stunned to see. We didn't know it was coming last night, when Manuel Gonzalez descended some 2,300 feet and actually made contact with the miners for the first time.

Let's just listen.




COOPER: This, being watched above by the Chilean president and mining officials watching this on a laptop, as we were watching it. A camera was present, so this is literally what they were looking, and the voices that you hear are both people above the ground watching, clapping, but also miners below ground.

And there you see Luis -- Manuel Gonzalez, the first rescuer hugging and applauded by the other mines. It's a beautiful moment as we're seeing and incredible. So now, it seems fitting that he will be the last to leave this mine, we want to bring that to you live, of course.

So stay tuned, we're going to take a quick break as we follow this, the capsule still descending. You can see that's the live picture of Manuel Gonzalez actually right now waiting, waiting for the capsule to emerge. You just see him in shadow. He is being watched very closely, and they're having a conversation with officials above ground. We're going to bring you his -- and there he is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't forget to say good-bye at the end before you jump inside the cage.

COOPER: Let's take a quick break so we can capture this moment live.

Also some of the medical hurdles some of the miners now face. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Ok, you're looking at -- let's listen to the conversation between mine officials above the ground and Manuel Gonzalez, the final rescue worker underground. Let's listen.

Thought there was going to be a translation; it's been sort of intermittent. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Manuel Gonzalez Perez superhero of the 33. That sounds great, doesn't it? Manuel Gonzalez Perez the hero of the 33. That sounds great. The guru spoke. The guru spoke.

MANUEL GONZALEZ, RESCUER (through translator): Not much longer now. Not much longer. Ok, I feel it. It's closer. It's getting closer, 300 -- 300 meters. Halfway through.

There is a book here. There's a book here on how they should -- they should communicate with the press and talk to people. Somebody took it up with them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw you reading with a lot of interest. Now we know you were praying, 460 meters. Not much longer now. Not much longer. Yes, we kept praying for everything to go --

COOPER: We're showing you on the left-hand side of the screen, the lower side, that's Manuel Gonzalez 24 hours ago when he was first getting in the capsule to be the first rescue worker down to the miners. Clearly very different mood, the man you see now, talking on the right-hand side of your screen, waiting to be the last man out, and the nerves before on the left-hand side. Let's watch and listen.

GONZALEZ (through translator): I was -- I've been away from home for a week, and I can't imagine what it must have been like to have been away for 70 days. That must have been terrible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The happiness that they felt when you arrived, it was -- it was immense. It was -- they would hug each other. It was -- it was -- it was such hope. Because they realized that it was -- it was going to work.

GONZALEZ (through translator): When they -- they saw the first one leave, we were -- we were telling them you need to stay calm, to pray, to sing. With Roberto, he just made a little show, and then they just left happy. They were calm, when they were leaving. They were really happy. Here it comes. Here it comes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): You have to clear because you're going to be back here every year. How are you? Good. We're waiting for you up here with very anxious, we're waiting for you. This is it. We're almost -- we're almost there.

GONZALEZ (through translator): You want to see the capsule; the images of you arriving there were incredible. I was -- I felt such a rush of emotion. I had a knot in my throat. I felt the love. I felt their love. It was like as if the rescuer had arrived. It was an incredible moment. I almost cried, because I felt the love. They hugged me, they --

COOPER: So we're going to show you the left-hand side of the screen. The images they're talking about when that first capsule came through with Manuel Gonzalez that was 24 hours ago on the left-hand side of your screen. You're about to see on the right-hand side of your screen the capsule once again coming to take Manuel Gonzalez, the last human being under the ground, to take him to safety, to take him to his life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This will be the most amazing memory. And the arrivals of each one of them up here, it was unbelievable. And, of course, the last -- and, of course, the last one, the general, they were all beautiful. There wasn't -- not even one screams -- here it comes. Here it comes. There, it's arriving.

Ok, Manuel. I'll wait for you up here. Manuel, don't forget, don't forget to say your good-byes in front of the camera.

GONZALEZ (through translator): A little bit lower. They're going to --

COOPER: Again, the left side of your screen, you're looking at 24 hours ago when Manuel Gonzalez first arrived in that mine, being greeted by the miners. All the miners now have gone on the right-hand side of your screen. The live picture of the capsule has arrived, let's listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We're waiting for you up here, so come up.

Being at the depths of that mine by yourself, wow. You're a big man.

You're a big man, Manuel. He's bringing his rocks. Careful. He's entering the pod. He'll give us a signal for the ascent, to begin the ascent. And that's the signal.


Copy that? We're beginning the ascent.

COOPER: And there you have it. Slowly, slowly, Manuel Gonzalez, the last human being underground, is heading home.

We're going to take a short break, and we'll show you what happens when he gets to the surface. We'll be right back.


COOPER: And welcome back. Everyone is gathered around. You can see now more of a crowd of mining officials has gathered, the last rescue worker heading to the surface, Manuel Gonzalez, also the first rescue worker to go down. Each of these rescue workers has risked their lives.

And just moments ago Manuel Gonzalez has left the mine. We'll show you that video as we saw it just a few moments ago right before the commercial break, that's on the bottom left-hand side of your screen right below me. That's the capsule for the last time leaving the -- the underground tomb that these 33 men and these six rescue workers had been in.

And now he is on the short road home. We should be saying. He's probably about five minutes away. We're going to continue to bring you all of this -- I mean this is truly the end of what has been a remarkably successful rescue operation.

Gary Tuchman is on the scene as well. And Gary, we'll just -- what happens -- these -- what happens on this location once Manuel Gonzalez gets up top? I mean, do they just start to break this thing down? Are there still family members all around? Have they moved to the hospital area? What is the -- what's it like around where -- around the location of the mine?

TUCHMAN: Right, Camp Hope, which is what this area has been dubbed, it has been very crowded for the last few weeks, with more than 1,000 people at most times, in the last few days more than 2,000 people, many of them members of news media, police officials and the family.

But we expect that over the next few days Anderson this area will become what it has been for eons, empty, barren. The only thing that was here was the mine and workers that have to drive 45 minutes to the nearest town to get here. There is nobody who lives here.

And right now there are absolutely no creature comforts whatsoever there are no bathrooms and there are no showers. We are sleeping in tents on the desert sand. And it is very primitive. But it is a city that has been created because of the hope that the family members had that they would see their loved ones again.


TUCHMAN: And indeed that's what's happened over the last 24 hours, all 33 men have come home.

COOPER: You know Gary, we've been trying to -- to let our viewers kind of experience this as much as possible, with just natural sound, without us talking, so I want to bring you to what is happening right now around this -- this mine, as these men who have risked their lives, who have spent the last 69 days trying to get these men out of the mine, have gathered to bring their comrade home.

Let's just try to listen in and see if they are saying anything, and just kind of experience this as they are experiencing it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two hundred meters.

COOPER: Chile's president is there.

Kind of making jokes about the sound that the siren makes when the -- each of the miners was being brought up, imitating the sound.

For many of these mine officials, they have become like family over the last 69 days, as they worked literally around the clock, trying to figure out how to get these men out of the earth. They had three different drills working, three different plans: Plan A, Plan B, Plan C.

It was Plan B that ended up working. The drill that was brought in, the experts that were brought in from the United States, two drillers who had actually have been working in Afghanistan, brought in directly from the field in Afghanistan, working on this mine, standing all day in shifts, both day and night.

I talked to one of the drillers last night who said that you literally have to stand to feel -- to feel it through your feet. To feel where the drill is going, how the drill is going, what progress is being made. And Plan B certainly worked, beating all expectations.

That's Chile's president right there; Minister of Mines to his right.


COOPER: While we're waiting, seeing it on the right, on the left-hand side -- maybe we'll try to, if we can, put up those first images of Manuel Gonzalez as he first descended 24 hours ago. And just the difference in the mood with the levity we're seeing now, the happiness, the relief of all those who have gathered.

It was a very different picture 24 hours ago when Manuel Gonzalez carefully was loaded into that capsule, taking some last breaths of oxygen. And beginning a journey that, frankly, no one knew exactly how it would go. They hadn't had a human being in the capsule, who went all the way down. They didn't know if the shaft that they had drilled would hold.


Things are going well.

We're waiting for you right here.

COOPER: They're actually yelling down now to Manuel Gonzalez. Just moments away now.


COOPER: Again, this was Manuel Gonzalez on the left side of your screen 24 hours ago, being loaded down. First man down. And here he is, about to emerge, the last man up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want your autograph.

Three, two, one, zero.

COOPER: And with that, history has been made, completely successful operation. The first time man has been underground that long and survived.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did it go? How did it go?

Very brave. Very brave.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, so much. Thank you.

Mission accomplished. We were able to rescue the 33 and the rescuers. Thank you.

Mr. President, excellent.

Did you leave everything in order down there? Are the beds made? You didn't turn off the light.

When you ordered, it's done.

SEBASTIAN PINERA, PRESIDENT OF CHILE: Seventy days. First anguish, then hope, and now the happiness of having accomplished this mission.

Manolo, you were the last one down there. What was your last thought when you --

MANUEL GONZALEZ, LAST RESCUE WORKER TO SURFACE: Mr. President that I hope this never happens again. I hope that the Chilean mining will be different. That I hope things will be done correctly and that small mining things will be done correctly. This is what I want.

PINERA: In some days we'll be announcing a new treaty, protection dignity, to protect all the workers in Chile. Not only mining, but also in transportation, agriculture, mining, fishing, industry, but with this rescue team, we're ready for anything. I will ask all these rescue workers that, they have the final judgment, to come rescue us, and rescue us from -- where some of us are going to end up for a couple seasons.

It's been a long journey. But now we are proud of the miners, of the families of the miners, and we're proud of the Chilean rescuers. This team of rescuers that was able to reduce the time of the rescue from an hour to 20 minutes.

Guys, you have won the appreciation and gratitude of all the Chileans. You deserve it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going to remove the pod.

COOPER: There in the center of your screen, you see the capsule that made it all possible. In this world of high-tech computers and high-tech devices, it is a relatively simple, relatively primitive piece of machinery. But what it has done has been extraordinary.

We're going to take a short break. Our coverage, though, continues all the way to the midnight hour. We have new pictures, new images of some of the miners in the hospital. This is miners' families watching Manuel Gonzalez emerging. Let's listen in.


COOPER: What about the -- and we are back watching the breaking news tonight. Manuel Gonzalez, the final mine rescuer, back on the surface in Chile just moments ago. Chile's president putting a cap on the shaft.

Patrick Oppmann has some new information and video from the hospital where some of the minors are. Patrick, what are you hearing tonight from the hospital? PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More and more of these miners arriving, and photojournalist Todd Baxter and I were just inside where we saw several of them being wheeled in. And what a scene it was. They've let the public, the townspeople from this are Copiapo come into the hospital. They've lined up on both sides as barriers to keep us from getting too close, and then they sort of wheeled these men in.

As you would imagine, Anderson, they got a standing ovation. People were just going absolutely crazy. The miners were just as interested in us and the crowd here as we were.

We're playing video from earlier when Luis Urzua came to the surface. That was the reaction of some of the miners' families in that lobby, they gave him when they saw that the final miner -- just again, scenes of incredible emotion, incredible passion. And for these people to finally have all miners above ground, this is a mining community -- sorry, go ahead?

COOPER: Yes. Patrick, you're saying you saw some of the miners being brought in recently. Where are they being brought in from? Are they being brought from that sort of field hospital down near the mine? Why would they just be coming in now?

OPPMANN: Yes. Yes. Because what happens is after they're taken from the mine, they have about a two-hour check-up at that field hospital, then they're allowed some time with their families. Then they're put on a helicopter, Anderson, flown here. There's a military base just about a half mile away from us. Then they're driven in from that military base, that military helipad to the Copiapo regional hospital where they'll spend the next few days.

They're letting the public see this brief glimpse of them as they're wheeled in. They're wheeled in, in hospital scrubs. They have those dark, thick, Oakley sunglasses on, and they're looking around, though, very curious as to who all these people. Who are all these people clapping and cheering them on as they're wheeled into the hospital.

They'll be here for several days as they get a full barrage of medical tests, Anderson. Officials want to make sure that they're absolutely healthy, mentally and physically before they're released back to this community, back to their families, Anderson.

COOPER: Right. Patrick, appreciate all the reporting you've been doing over these last 24 hours. I know it's been a long 24 hours for you.

I want to bring in Dr. Kimberly Manning of Emory University; also Dennis O'Dell of the United Mine Workers.

Dr. Manning, they're wearing still those glasses. We've seen some of the miners who are arriving just now at the hospital still wearing the glasses. How long do they have to keep glasses on for? I mean how long is the eyes' adjustment to light an issue? DR. KIMBERLY MANNING, EMORY UNIVERSITY: This has really been a precautionary measure. And really the thinking right now is they've been in darkness for so long, that the eyes have been dilated or in a period of dilation for so long there was fear that the gentlemen could damage the retinas by the exposure to the light.

Really that period of adjustment isn't very long. We would anticipate that in -- as soon as maybe 48 hours or so these gentlemen can come out of the glasses, maybe even sooner. But really in terms of being specific, they'll need to be evaluated by ophthalmologists or eye specialists who I'm sure can give the green light on when those can come off.

COOPER: Dennis O'Dell, we just heard the last rescuer, Manuel Gonzalez, saying to the president of Chile, I want to make sure this doesn't happen again. We have to make sure that mining is done right in this country and that workers are protected. Obviously there are protections in the United States, though clearly we've seen a number of instances where -- repeated instances over the years where it hasn't been enough.

But in a place like Chile, in a mine like this which is in a very remote region, how much oversight is there, really?

DENNIS O'DELL, UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA: Well, you know, it's unclear, Anderson. You heard, not only the last rescue worker come out that said that, but you heard some of the miners say that we want to make sure this doesn't happen again in the future. So it makes you believe that the regulations probably aren't as strict as they are in places like we have here in the United States and Canada and Australia and some other places like that.

So -- but I did hear the president say that that's something they were going to look at, is better worker protections not only for miners, but for all workers throughout the entire country. So hopefully as a result of this, which unfortunately, you know, you and I have talked about this in the past, too, is usually the way you only get changes is by the blood of a miner -- or catastrophes like this.

This is going to force them to make some changes in the way that they do business. They're going to have to take the attitude that profits have to come behind safety. Safety has to be the number one priority. So hopefully people heed to that.

COOPER: Especially, Chile's president has been all over this event and has been front and center these last 24 hours appearing on camera just all around. So certainly he seems to be at least staking his public persona on, you know, standing with -- with the miners. Let's see if he actually follows through and make sure that safety, that mines have second exits.

This really didn't have a second exit. There was really only one way in and one way out of this mine, correct?

O'DELL: Yes. That's correct. And you know, that's almost unheard of, if you think about it because, as we've seen, anything can happen. So I think that's one of the first and foremost things they have to look at, is better support, as far as the rough conditions go, and to give the miners a second -- like they have a primary and secondary means of escape. A lot of that has to take place as a result of this.

And I would think that if they're going to make any real changes, and they want to be serious about it, that's something that they have to put into steps immediately.

COOPER: Dr. Manning, you know, obviously there's so much attention now on these miners; that can be a blessing and a curse, obviously. You know it's like somebody winning the lottery.

We heard earlier about money being offered to them, and life- changing offers. These are guys who earned about $1,000, I think to $1,500 a month, which is a huge salary in Chile. I think that's in multiple times what the average person earns there. But we're hearing big dollar figures being thrown around for exclusive interviews.

What -- psychologically, how concerned are you about the impact of not just what they've been through, but what they will be going through, in terms of worldwide attention and interest in them?

MANNING: There's definitely going to be a new normal for all of these gentlemen, and I think that is a very big concern of many health care professionals. Specifically I'd have a really big concern about the possibility of substance abuse. Things like alcoholism.

The reason for that is that usually if you think about problems with substance abuse and any type of addictive behavior, you see that in extremes; extremes of happiness and extremes of despair. And these gentlemen will be going back and forth between both of those things, with all that's happening.

I think with all of the attention, their families will lose a lot of privacy. It will be very difficult for some of the individuals, say, for example, the oldest of the miners, 63-year-old Mario Gomez, I think his name is, who actually had been mining since he was 12 years old. This will be a huge life change for him. And he may just suffer from panic attacks, panic disorder, making him not want to go back toward a mine.

So this will be a new normal. It will be very tough for them psychologically.

COOPER: We're told these are live pictures from inside one of the hospitals, the last miners arriving at the hospital. So you are seeing these pictures as we are seeing them.

We're going to be right back. Our coverage continues all the way to the midnight hour. We'll be right back.


COOPER: And the breaking news continues tonight, a few moments ago the last rescue worker, back on the surface. Manuel Gonzalez is his name. The first one down, last one back. He was also -- well, all the rescue workers, extraordinarily brave, risking their lives to help 33 of their colleagues, their miners, now all back safe and alive.

I want to check in once again with CNN's Karl Penhaul. Karl, it's been a remarkable 24 hours, I think, for everybody involved. For you, what -- what happens now, what sticks out in your mind over the last 24 hours?

PENHAUL: well, I think, you know, you'd have to go back to each one of those individual rescues and see the moment that each miner stepped out of the Phoenix 2 rescue capsule and went back into the arms of the people they most loved in this life.

It became a little bit routine toward the end of the day, to see the Phoenix capsule going so smoothly up and down. But what was completely not routine was the way that each family celebrated in its own way, a rebirth of sorts for the miner and a rebirth of sorts for the family. Because this is what all the families I've spoken to have said, that this really does mark a before and an after.

These miners and their families cannot simply go home and pick up the pieces of a normal life. Their lives have now been changed forever. And tonight, here in Camp Hope, there very much is a feeling of what now? They've been through some of the most intense experiences of their lives, and now -- tomorrow is a very different scenario, Anderson.

COOPER: No doubt about that, everyone who's been involved in their lives' will change in one way or in other ways. No one can predict.

Karl, appreciate all your reporting, not just over the last 24 hours but over the last 69 to 70 days, as you have covered this really from the beginning of this horrific incident that began, seemingly so long ago.

You're looking at live pictures on the right-hand side of your screen from Chilean television; the last of the miners being helicoptered to the hospital. This is the road that some of them will be driven down in order to get to that hospital

We're going to have more on the family reunions that riveted Chile and the world.

We're also going to show you some of the most dramatic moments from the last 24 hours as our coverage continues.


COOPER: For all of us who watched the rescues over the last 24 hours, what we've witnessed is simply breathtaking; so many moments that literally would send chills down my spine and everyone's. Thirty-three men who appeared doomed two months ago are safe tonight; each man was pulled out of the shaft like a rebirth, as Karl Penhaul was pointing out. Tom Foreman takes a look back at the last 24 hours and the most remarkable moments.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mario Sepulveda rose out of the earth, hugged his wife, then embraced his whole country.

"I was with God and the devil," he said. "God won."

The long night ended for the youngest miner, Jimmy Sanchez, 19; for the only foreigner, Bolivian Carlos Mamani; and for Jose Ojeda (ph) who wrote the note that told everyone, "We're alive."

At 63, Mario Gomez, the oldest, was the first freed in the new dawn. He kissed his wife and prayed. So did others. Esteban Rojas, trapped with two cousins, asked his wife to renew their wedding vows while trapped below. She said yes. Edison Pena led sing-alongs of Elvis songs underground.

Ariel Ticona's wife had a baby while he was below. Victor Zamora and his wife are expecting one.

"I hope this new life ahead of you is happy," the Chilean president told him. So it went, around the clock. And finally, the last man: the leader for all the trapped miners -- Luis Urzua. "You have been an inspiration," he is told. "The country is not the same after this."

Then they sang the Chilean national anthem, a song of hope, unity, and strength for people who have shown so much of all three.

Tom Foreman, CNN.


COOPER: It is hard not to smile and perhaps even cry. It's been quite a night again. What began with a rescue worker named Manuel Gonzalez heading down into the mine some 24 hours ago ended late tonight just moments ago with Manuel Gonzalez making that final journey out of that mine. Thirty-three miners home, the rescuers home -- all home safe.

That does it for 360. Thanks for watching. Coverage of Campaign 2010, the Delaware Debate is next.

I'll see you tomorrow night on 360.