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Update on the Chilean Mine Rescue as Miner 19 Rides to the Surface in the Fenix Capsule

Aired October 13, 2010 - 14:00:00   ET


RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: Eighteen rescued, 15 to go. Throughout this hour we're with the business world and the real world. Together we follow the incredible developing story out of Chile.

I'm Richard Quest, and in Chile today, they certainly mean business.

Good evening.

Tonight, throughout this hour, as indeed across CNN, we are going to be focusing our programs and our output on the rescue operation underway in Chile. You'll never be far away from the pictures of what is happening underground and at the top of the San Jose Mine, where 18 miners are now back on the surface, 15 remain to be fully rescued, along with, of course, several rescue workers themselves.

We'll be bringing you the latest and we'll keep you up to date with business stories. But the important thing for me to tell you is whatever we're going during the hour, this live picture will be on the-this picture will be on your screen at some point, or somewhere and you will be in touch with what's happening up on top of the mine and down below.

The capsule is now being winched down to bring up the 19th miner, Pablo Amadeos Rojas Villacorta; 45-year-old Pablo is the next person, the next miner to be extracted from the mine. We'll have that picture and we'll keep that informed, of course. But, man by man we are following every step of this extraordinary rescue as it has happened. And it all began with Florencio Avalos, the first to emerge more than 15 hours ago. And so began a day of reunion and rejoicing.


QUEST: Florencio brought a bag of rocks with him, gold rocks, a souvenir of life underground was handed to the president of Chile, and a variety of other rescuers. And over the next-


That is the president of Chile there. Of course, over the next few hours one by one they emerge, we had the minor with diabetes in need of constant medication. Another whose girlfriend had proposed to him while he was imprisoned underground. And another minor who lead the trapped colleagues in sing-alongs to Elvis songs.

As they emerged from Fenix, the cramped capsule, some waived flags, some gave thumbs up, several have dropped to their knees and prayed. And one asked about his dog. Seventy days since these men clocked on for an ordinary shift. They have been trapped in what some would be feared would be forever.

Our correspondent, who has been doing sterling duty at the mineshaft and has been following this since day one, Karl Penhaul has been watching the story and what unfolds.

Karl, as you watch this, the-I hesitate to say the rescue is now routine, but the way in-the Chilean president said, they are doing it in 40 minutes a rescue and they thought it would be an hour?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. In some sense, in technical terms it has become a routine. And that, I'm sure is a very good thing. But the rescuers now know the ropes. They are putting that Fenix capsule down. They are hauling it back up, and each time they haul it back up, you'll see they tinker, do a couple of fine adjustments, and send the rescue capsule back down on its way. And that to ensure that this rescue operation is going in fact much more quickly than anybody expected. And now the mines minister says the whole thing could be wrapped up by tonight, possibly it spread just into the wee, small hours of tomorrow morning.

But certainly what is not routine, and it is in complete contrast to the technical aspects of this, and the human aspects. Each time that well- functioning Fenix 2 capsule rises to the surface it throws out a new man, a new man back to his family, and that is where each story is different. Each range of emotions is different. Yes, we've seen a number to dropping to their knees, and the last man to come out of that rescue capsule was Esteban Rojas. He first dropped to his knees, and his partner, Jessica Ganiez stood by and then kneeled down alongside him, engulfed him in her arms and wrapped him also in what appeared to be a blanket, with an image of the Virgin Mary upon it.

Now Esteban Rojas is one of a number of minors who has had time to think while they have been down there in that mine. He was one of the ones to propose to his partner, Jessica Ganiez, saying, "We have been together 25 years. We only got married in a civil registry, so let's have a full- blown, white Catholic wedding. And that is exactly what they're going to do. She obviously said yes, but that is not where their story stops.

A lady in Texas wrote an e-mail saying there is nothing I can do for you or any of the 33 miners' families, but as some small gesture I want to make you a beautiful wedding dress. So, we now have an example of how the world has expressed solidarity with these miners and their families. A lady in Texas who didn't even know that this town existed before, making a beautiful wedding dress for Jessica Ganiez an Esteban Rojas' special day. And that same lady, each night, goes down to her local church in Texas and forces her priest to light 33 candles for each of the minors, every night, for over two months now, Richard.

QUEST: Karl, watching the way in which-ah, we seem to have had a problem there with Karl. Oh, there we are. We'll leave Karl Penhaul, as he is down at the mine. If and when he returns to us, I-I-is Karl back it looks like? No. Well, we may come back to Karl later.

Oh, Karl, we lost you for a moment, but you are now back with me. So, Karl, if you had to weigh in which the authorities in Chile have handled this. The word I'm seeing, besides just professional and efficient, is meticulous. The entire organization of this hasn't descended into farce or to circus.

PENHAUL: Absolutely. And Chile is out here to prove something, it must be said. Although it is great that they're trying to prove something, bringing 33 men, who by all rights should have died, back to life. But Chile is obviously a mining power. Most of its GDP is made up from income from copper, but also as well, with gold at their current high prices, and that is also a significant income earner for Chile. So it wants to show the world that it is a significant and responsible mining power. And so that is why it was keen to show that they could reach these 33 trapped miners. Even in almost impossible circumstances, when they had to go into uncharted territory to do that. They have been meticulous in their planning because they know the eyes of the world have been on this operation and day-by-day that is what they have been doing. Every detail has been taken care of. And it has been the state-run copper mining company, Codelco, leading the way, Richard.

QUEST: We are going to talk about copper now. Many thanks, Karl Penhaul in-at that mineshaft in San Jose, at the mine, at the top there.

Now, as Karl said, and it takes us elegantly onto the reason the miners were down in the first place, is copper. Prices reached a new two- year high on Wednesday. Mining shares also soared. Antofagasta was up 4 percent. Anglo American up 5.3 percent. Rio Tinto up 4.56, and Xstrata up 4.42 percent. The price of the-the price of copper itself, reached that two-year high. Eric Zuccarelli is an independent copper trader. And Eric joins me now from the New York mercantile exchange.

Eric, I'm sure, even though you have been trading, watching agog as much as the rest of us, at this rescue operation, in Chile. But I need to ask you, why is copper so strong at the moment?

ERIC ZUCCARELLI, COPPER TRADER: Well, we have two things going for us in the copper market at this time. The expectations from the Fed that QE2 easing will definitely make the dollar weaker and definitely make copper less expensive to the rest of the world, which makes it good to buy copper in the United States.

The second, which announced this week during the LME week, is a physical backed ETF, which is actually in which they would take physical copper from the LME warehouses, and own it outright. And there is a rumor that they could take up almost 300,000 tons, and that would be most of the copper that is in the LME warehouses. Counter that with the voracious appetite that China and the rest of the world has been consuming copper of late. You have a quite an explosive situation for the price of copper to the upside.

QUEST: Right. The picture, while you are talking to me, Eric, the picture we are looking at, at the moment is the capsule Fenix, is now down in the bottom of the mine shaft. Waiting for the 19the miner, who is going to get on board for the mile-long ride back to the surface.

The mining-the commodities industry, at the moment, shows a frothiness in pricing that one asks, Eric, is it becoming unreal, compared to economics?

ZUCCARELLI: Well, copper is a little bit different. Over the last few years because of the credit crunch, you haven't had the investment in new mines, or new mine production, where you have had an increase in copper demand, by India, China, and even in the Middle East. The United States has certainly been lacking with the recovery but because of the demand and the supply you really do have a situation, regardless of the world economy that copper is moving into a tight situation and physical copper is actually disappearing from the exchanges.

QUEST: Eric, many thanks indeed, joining us from the New York exchanges.

The issue that Eric was talking that copper mines have not been started or there has been a dearth of new copper. And that was one of the problems, and one of the reasons that this mine, that is now the subject of this rescue, was actually reopened. The high price of cooper which led to the mine being reopened. Chile's President Pinera has been speaking about the price of copper and how it is completely irrelevant compared to the miners.


SEBASTIAN PINERA, PRESIDENT OF CHILE (through translator): After tonight I am more convinced than ever that the greatest wealth in our country is not copper, it's the miners. The great wealth of our country are not our natural resources. It is the Chileans, who have given an example to the whole world of commitment, faith, hope. Even during the hardest moments, when many were losing faith and many thought that a successful rescue was just a dream.


QUEST: The key point there, of course, is that the wealth of Chile is not in its copper, it is in its miners. And in this case that miner is the 19th miner to be rescued. Pablo Amadeos Rojas, the 45-year-old is relatively new to the San Jose Mine. He started work there just six months before the collapse. He spent the last 69 days trapped underground with his cousin, Esteban, who also works at the mine. Rojas will be greeted on the surface by his wife, he also has a 21-year-old son.

Back to the pictures of what is happening at the moment and the mining industry, as such, is a lucrative and extremely dangerous industry. In fact, working in a mine is one of the most dangerous jobs around. Join me over here, and I will show you what I mean.

But before we go-while we're looking at this, before we go to this, let's go back to those pictures and you can see, we take them for you, you can see Pablo is now getting into the capsule. It will take roughly 15 minutes. Bearing in mind, the minister now says that they are from top to bottom now performing each rescue in less than 40 minutes. The video link from the bottom upwards will show the 19th miner beginning his journey to the top of the mine shaft, or the drilled shaft.

The mining works that they have been engaged in is exceptionally dangerous. That much, perhaps is obvious. The ILO, the International Labor Organization says that 1 percent of the global workforce is involved in the industry of mining. And yet, 8 percent of fatal accidents take place in that industry. Put in front of that, with the Geneva-based IFCE, the Mine and General Workers' Union, and you see that they now estimate 12,000 deaths a year take place in the mining industry. That is the official number. It is believed that many more go unreported.

China, you'll be aware, is one of the deadliest places for that. More than 250,000 miners are believed to be killed according the China Daily statistics. Poor conditions, safety training and simply and irrelevance of the laws, and certainly the enforcement of them is part of the reason, which is why today the International Labor Organization has pushed to improve safety standards across the world.

As we look at these pictures, coming to us now, at CNN, of the next- the 19th capsule beginning its ascent. We pause for a moment. It's 16 minutes and 30 seconds past the hour, is where that capsule began its ascent to the top. If history is any guide, Pablo will reach the top at about 31 minutes past the hour, 32 minutes past the hour. And we, of course, will have that for you live.

Pablo and his 32 compatriots were engaged in one of the most dangerous industries in the world. The ILO's current director general, Juan Somavia, a Chilean national himself, and former Chile's ambassador to the United Nations joined me a short while ago. We began, of course, congratulating him on his country's efficiency at the rescue operation.


JUAN SOMAVIA, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, ILO: I think that you are very right, Richard. And one of the things that this transmits is the capacity of a country to do that, but at the same time, to make us remember, and I think that this is probably one of the gifts of these 33 miners to the world, that you know security at work is a very major problem in the world. And fortunately, in Chile, we were able to deal with this tragedy. But it is not always the case worldwide and for the International Labor Organization that I lead. This is a very crucial message that we have to heed. We have to worry about health and safety at work.

QUEST: Let's talk about mining, because the numbers and the statistics, you say, for example, one percent of the global labor forces in mining and yet it has 8 percent of the fatal accidents. The message from the ILO and from you tonight, to the mining industry?

SOMAVIA: Let's take note of what of has happened, lets thank all the mining experts and all of the companies, with technology that helped Chile get out of this. And let's concentrate on the fact that there are certain industries that are more dangerous than others. It is mining, it is construction, it is everything that has to do with transport. And consequently let's decide where one of the lessons we are going to have- bring out of this crisis and these events, is that we are going to concentrate more globally on health and safety of the workplace.

QUEST: Do you think too many companies and in some cases, countries are putting too often profit, before safety?

SOMAVIA: Look, I think one of the things I've observed here in the ILO, remember this is employers workers and government, is that on paper this is probably the issue in which there is most consensus between the companies, between the workers, and the trade unions and the governments. But somehow we do not get the hold and we cannot move forward. Nobody will contest that it is good for business.

QUEST: Why? Why?

SOMAVIA: Or workers to be in good health.


QUEST: Why do you think there needs to be a consensus? It must be because people don't care enough, because there is money to be made.

SOMAVIA: Well, you know, it is-I-you know, Richard, I tend not to see sort of issues necessarily on black and white terms. I think there is enough desire to make it happen. But there is something that comes in between and makes it very difficult to do it. Certainly, the first thing that we need is for companies to have the consciousness that this is good for them. And they need to make it happen. Whether it is profit, whether it is looking the other way, whether it is not be sufficiently being controlled by governments, because in many countries the systems of labor inspection and labor administration are weak. You can have a series of problems coming together.

But what I think we have to realize is that this is not in the interest of anybody. It can't be-you know, an honor for a sector like mining or a company in the mining sector to say, look, we have the highest levels of accidents on earth. So, certainly, a conclusion by the world (ph), but I say, it is not just mining, it is also construction, it is also transport, will bring out of this extraordinary situation in Chile is we have to better safety at work.


QUEST: A reminder from a man who knows, the Director-General of the ILO Juan Somavia, who is also former Chile's ambassador to the United Nations.

As we wait for Pablo Amadeos Rojas to reach the surface, in about 10 minutes from now, we're going to take a pause. And when we come back, there are other matters that we need to update you with. Liverpool Football Club, who will own it? We'll tell you after the break.


QUEST: So as you saw, a day of major gains in Europe. London's were largely because of the mining shares. Shares are higher also on Wall Street. It doesn't matter where you are, traders are buying for the same reason. The prospect of more quantitative easing, the printing of money, and the U.S. traders are also getting plenty of encouragement from the latest results. That gain by the way, of 128 points, comfortably taking us over 11,000. JP Morgan Chase, the first of the big banks to report results from Q3 and---boy, sit tight, sit tight here-$4.4 billion. A 23 percent gain from a year ago. It has also set aside less money for bad loans, and to the totality of that, well, it has given a very strong indication.

Yesterday we talked about Liverpool Football Club. Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the American owners of the club, have lost their high court battle to prevent a takeover of the team. That means the club could be sold by the end of the week.

Phil, you were outside the court yesterday. In the warmth now here with us, now. I'll stop you if I have to.


QUEST: To take us back to Chile. But how did they lose? It sounds like they lost comfortably?

BLACK: They lost badly, completely. Essentially the judge said that what they are trying to do is effectively indefensible under the corporate governance arrangements that they had actually signed on for. When they tried to sack a couple of those board members last week, replace them in order to shift the whole voting balance of the board, the court said absolutely, they're not allowed to do that. So, in the minds of the rest of the board now, this clears the way for the sale, they say.

QUEST: So who is going to buy it? Who is going-because we've got the American, his name you'll remind me of?

BLACK: Yes, New England Sporting Ventures, the owners of the Boston Red Sox. They are the ones that were announced as the successful bidders last week. We are going to have a very clear idea of this after a board meeting that kicks off in about an hour's time, or so. For the moment the board is being pretty tight-lipped in terms of whether or not they will simply ratify that deal or continue with it. But if you were to look at the way they voted last week, it is perhaps a pretty good indication of how they're going to vote again.

QUEST: Yes, but hang on, if there is a better offer on the table from Peter Lim, in Singapore, surely the board is under an obligation to take the better offer?

BLACK: Two things to that, I guess. Firstly, they have said all along they are after what they consider to be the right owners for the club. Not necessarily the people who put the most money on the table. And they have spoken very glowingly about these guys winning attitude and the importance they placed on success on the pitch as well as success in business. And they have form for turning around a professional sporting outfit. On top of that, you've had these guys today come out and say we believe we already have a legally binding deal with Liverpool Football Club, and we're keen to close it as soon as possible.

QUEST: So, tonight, clarity for the Reds?

BLACK: We believe so, yes. And that is essentially what the board members under the independent chairman say they want this deal if it goes through. And really, regardless of what deal goes through, the ones on the table all look like they are going to wipe out debt completely. And that is something good for the fans.

QUEST: Did we ever find out which football team the judge supported?

BLACK: Ah, no. He was pretty tight-lipped about that. In fact, yeah, I could not even begin to venture as to whether he was in fact a football fan.

QUEST: All right. Many thanks, Phil.

Let's return to Chile and look at the pictures. This is the mine head, the drill head. There where the capsule began its ascent at 16 minute past. So it has been going for the best part of 10 minutes. I tell you what, why don't we take a short break. Then we'll be sure to be back when number 19 comes to the surface. Good evening.





QUEST: The 19th miner now on the surface. Pablo Amadeos Rojas Villacorta has just arrived after his ride from the-the mile-long ride. Let's stay with these pictures and enjoy the emotion of the moment.




QUEST: Pablo Rojas, now on the surface.

The ascent from down below took 12 minutes. So the rescuers are not only more efficient, they are speeding up the process. The first hug came from Pablo's 21-year-old son. And now, of course, the routine of thanking, congratulating the mine minister and various officials and engineers.

With remarkable good health from these people who have been trapped for 70 days underground. But they still have to get onto the stretcher with the blanket and they're off for their two hour medical.

This is our continuing and live coverage of the rescue of the miners in Chile. And there is the son -- Pablo's son. The raw and unalterable fact is no matter -- I've seen now 20 of these -- 19 of these rescues during the day and tears come to the eyes every time you see it because it is simply indescribable the sheer emotion of those involved.

Good evening.


It is our midweek edition of the program.

CNN and we are wall to wall and make no apology for bringing you the very latest from Chile, because on this network, what's happening always comes first.

And so far, so good -- ahead of schedule. And rescuers have now brought 19 miners from the San Jose Mine in Chile. The first rescue came just after midnight. That's just over 15 hours ago. Rescue crews have been working continuously since then, hoisting the miners one by one. There are 15 or so down, still waiting for their turn. They have been trapped in the cave since August the 5th.

Other news that you will want to know tonight. France could face the threat of fuel shortages, and quite soon. Workers in French refineries continued to strike on Wednesday. The action is hitting more than half the country's oil facilities. Unions are protesting against government plans to raise the country's retirement age from 60 to 72. On Wednesday, at -- more action came a day after more than a million people went on strike on Tuesday. They disrupted the country's education and transport sectors.

A Hungarian court has ordered authorities to release the head of the aluminum company involved in the spill of toxic mud who but -- who was arrested just days ago. The court was considering negligence charges. The man's lawyer says officials can't back up their case. The news comes as a ninth person has now been confirmed dead in the wake of the leak. The plant involved is expected to reopen by the end of the week.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in Beirut for his first state visit to Lebanon. The Iranian president attended a rally in a Beirut suburb that's a Hezbollah stronghold. He's also scheduled to meet leaders of Hezbollah's resistance movement. Mr. Ahmadinejad also met the Lebanese president, Michel Suleiman.

Back to the rescue of the miners. Thirty-three miners trapped 700 meters underground for the past 69 days. And these are the live pictures of the journey. Nineteen to the surface so far. It has a few -- more than a dozen still to come. But the winch wheel, the wheel of hope, as it is called, is now moving, which tells us that the capsule is on its way back down again. Phoenix is on its way back down for the next rescue.

Once on the surface, the miners are greeted by their loved ones and then whisked to a triage station for medical checks. When that's complete, they go via helicopter to a short flight to Copiapo Regional Hospital. It's from there that CNN's Patrick Oppmann joins me.

The condition and what you are seeing at the hospital, they seem in such good -- good fettle when they come out of the ground.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, they do, Richard. Of course, these men have not been waiting to be rescued. They've been working very hard on their own rescue, clearing tons of rubble every day. Some of the men have been running in the mine's depths to stay fit -- to be able to fit into that rescue capsule, but mostly to stay positive, to give you exercising.

So most of these men were in good shape already, but that's not good enough for doctors. They want to have a very thorough look at these men. They want to make sure that they don't catch any sicknesses since they've been secluded, really, typically, from outside germs for over two months. And they just don't know how this prolonged isolation could have affected them. Even the NASA space angry, Richard, is interested in the data that will be collected over the next several days from these men, how they're adapting, how their eyes, having not seen the sunlight for two months. And, of course, it's a very bright day that is seemingly every right -- day in the Atacama Desert, Chile's driest desert -- the driest desert in the world.

So about it of an -- adapting process. There's been a lot to go through. They're being housed right now on the second and fourth floor behind me. We just had another helicopter flight in. So we may be close to about 10 men here, we think. We should have a press briefing in a little over an hour where they give us an update on how these men are doing.

It's been quite an interesting scene here, Richard, as family -- family members come to visit, some friends and -- and other people who have known the miners or just people who are curious about the amazing story that's obviously captivated the world's attention. They come here, stand here and look at the hospital. And then, of course, I'll bet he might enjoy this. There's already been a little bit of commerce at play. We've heard about the movies. We've heard about the books. But on a much smaller level, we're seeing the first knick knacks, trinkets and other goodies for sale on the streets of Copiapo. This is a flag with all the miners' faces on it. It says, "Salimos vivos los 33." "We all got out alive, the 33." Yours for just $2 USD -- a steal at any price. And we're starting to see more and more of these -- the t-shirts, the flags for sale here. Everyone wants a bit of what's an amazing story.

QUEST: And I am one of those people. Do me a favor. Go and buy me one of those flags. I'll pay you back when I see you. And better still, just put it on your expenses. Buy half a dozen of them. We need to festoon the QUEST MEANS BUSINESS studio with them.

Patrick, many thanks, indeed, at the hospital there.

The sheer size, scale and complexity of what's taken place has, frankly, been astounding. Several companies from around the world, many companies, particularly in the U.S., played their part, working behind the scenes. In some cases, it was the drill rigs. In others, they provided the gear, the equipment that monitored the trapped miners' vital signs. For instance, Pennsylvania-based Schram is a case in point. The Schram Company, it was one of its rigs that drilled the hole that first located the miners. And another was use in Plan B, which is bringing them to the surface.

Center Rock Inc is a company based in Pennsylvania. It was a drill made by Center Rock that actually bored through the 700 meters of rock and reached the trapped miners.

And just to prove the variety in all of this, the belts worn by the miners as they made their way to the top, they were made by this company, called Zephyr. They were used to remotely monitor miners' physiology and biomechanics.

With all this in mind, I asked CNN's Christine Romans how they came together to make today's rescue not just possible, but make it happen.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's fascinating, Richard, because you have a lot of South American companies, but also some companies from the United States, as well, that have been involved in the engineering prowess that is on display there. A lot of different companies quite proud today, quite frankly, of what their equipment has helped -- has helped do here.

Now, UPS is one of those companies. It's a company that is on its Web sites and -- and very proud on its blogs that it took 48 hours for -- for UPS, once asked by the Chilean government, to get the important drill bits down there to Chile. So UPS is one of those companies -- Oakley, the sunglass company, providing sunglasses, we're told, for all of those miners as they're coming out of the shaft. So their brand clearly on display.

For the more high technology companies, including Schram Inc. This is a company based in Pennsylvania. It's fascinating. This is the one that drilled the main rescue shaft, the Plan B rescue shaft. Also, it had the - - one of the drill the drill platforms that reached the miners first by drilling a five-and-a-half inch diameter bore hole.

Then there was a company called Center Rock Inc based in Pennsylvania that actually had the -- a drill that -- that took that bore hole and had these grinders -- these hammers on the drill and ground it out to be 28 inches wide so that they could actually get down there and get this rescue underway.

And then another company based in Annapolis, Maryland called Zephyr Technology, this one also pretty fascinating. This is medical technology...

QUEST: Right.

ROMANS: -- they had built that read all of the readings, the vital statistics from the -- from the miners. And they had software that read like -- almost like a tachometer, like -- like from the cockpit of a jet, each of these miners had all of these readings so that the physicians above ground could monitor for panic attacks and other health-related issues.

So a very high tech operation. And I'll tell you, these companies, all of them that we've talked to, quite proud of being a part of this humanitarian effort.

QUEST: There's an interesting pride, though. It's a quiet pride, isn't it?

They don't want to take any of the glory away from the phenomenal organizational abilities that the Chilean authorities have put in place.

So everybody is in this together, aren't they?

ROMANS: It's true. And I'll tell you something, a lot of them have been involved before in disasters. The China mine disaster earlier this year; the Quecreek mine disaster recently, a few years ago in the United States.

They're -- they're used to this, getting the call and getting on a plane and figuring out how to get their gear where they're going to go and their engineers on the ground and these engineers take it very, very seriously, we're told, you know, often a quiet pride, but working around the clock with people on the ground in countries all over the globe, trying to use what their company does best in a way to save people's lives.

So a quiet pride, I think, is interesting, too, because we had to kind of go digging for some of these countries -- companies, quite frankly. Once you find them, they're very happy to talk about all that they've done.

QUEST: Wait...

ROMANS: But to them, this is all part of doing business.


QUEST: Christine Romans. And not many people do business and then find 33 lives saved as a result.

The winch is on its way down again, as you can see. Going to pick up Dario Antonio Segovia Rojas, who will be the 20th miner to the surface. The winch of hope will bring the 48-year-old -- now his father, Darios' father made a career out of

Mining and, indeed, was involved in a collapse of his own. We're going to talk -- well, we'll hear more about Darios as we watch the process continue. And when we come back, also, we have other matters to attend to -- why in Dubai they say all is fair in airport wars.


QUEST: So after the rescue and the two hour hospital, then onto the recovery area, where they -- where more families -- where there's been further reunions with the family. This is the family of the 19th miner, who has just been brought out, the 21-year-old son that we've seen and heard of before, Pablo Rojas' family.

One interesting thing I learned during the course of the day, the -- the organizers are being very careful about the number of families and friends that the miners meet so that they don't receive emotional overload. And that's why it's only the closest of kin that's at the mine head or the drill head. And then the process continues throughout this.

But then you -- you've been watching this with me all day and are well aware of this.

Now, the rescue shaft is just inches across -- two -- less than two feet across. The Phoenix capsule is 50 odd centimeters from one side to the other. It was Plan B that actually made it to be finally successful. And even then, those who dug it from Geotech and the other companies involved had serious doubts that it would actually work.

Jeff Hart is the man who operated the drill which dug the rescue shaft -- or one of the men. I asked -- and as you watch these pictures, listen to Jeff Hart and it becomes so clear, the importance of what he did and the key role in freeing the miners.


JEFF HART: I'm very fortunate to be part of this. It's been a phenomenal experience, I'll tell you that.

QUEST: Why didn't you stay around to see the -- the moment when the first miners and the rescuers came up?

HART: You know, we've done our job. We -- our job was to drill a well and install a little bit of the casing. And at that point, this is truly a -- a miners' and families story. And I don't believe that this is something that -- that I needed to be in the way for. I could watch it from a distance, knew it would be covered very well. And yet still have the -- the emotional impact staying in Santiago.

So it's very good. It's very good. It's very great to be here in Chile and -- and watch this happen. It's been a phenomenal thing -- a miracle. It really has been.

QUEST: You've drilled many things in your life and you were drilling for the U.S. for water holes in Afghanistan when you got the call.

But have you ever drilled anything where -- that has been used as a -- a rescue, as an escape?

HART: No, that I have not. I've never been on an escape mission before and -- and I certainly hope we never have to do it again.

QUEST: Were there any unique challenges about this that, as you go into your life now and you move on, you think, well, that I learned from doing this?

HART: You know, there's a -- it's a drilling business and so there's unique (AUDIO GAP)...

QUEST: OK. Well, we'll pause Jeff Hart, but we won't -- we won't lose it completely. We'll pause Jeff Hart for a moment. The capsule is now being closed and that is because any second now, the journey for Dario Rojas will begin. And we -- 21 minutes was the last time. Well, 12 -- it took 12 minutes for the last miner to come up to the surface.

Dario Segovia Rojas is the -- well, he was going to be coming up shortly.

But what we're seeing here, of course, is other members of the families. He's 48 years old, is Dario. He comes from Copiapo. His father is also a miner, once survived a collapsed mine. And his sister is the unofficial mayor of Camp Hope. Segovia's father began taking him down the mines when he was eight.

Now, this is video of Segovia from when he was trapped underground. I'm hoping that we might be able to see that. There it is. But these are the live pictures now from the mine shaft bottom. A final pat. And he's up. Forty-nine minutes on my clock. Forty-nine minutes past the hour, the twentieth rescue got underway. Forty-nine, 50, 51, 01. If this goes as fast as the previous ones, then, well, I'm not a betting man on this, but I would say just after the top of the hour, 20:00 in London, 21:00 in Europe, would be when we would expect to see Dario Segovia coming out from the top.

Now, Segovia has written the most letters amongst the miners. He says the first person he wants to see is his sister. She talked to us about the letters that he sent. We'll listen to that as we see his rescue underway.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): When he wrote the first letter to me, he told me that he has not taken God seriously on his life, that he always thought religion was a joke. He now has learned to pray and he wants to be close to God.

He had an accident before. He broke his hand. He has metal and nails in his hand.

QUEST: So the shaft that -- he is -- that Dario is now traveling up, the 700 meters, barely two feet wide, in Phoenix, the man responsible for leading the team, digging that shaft, is Jeff Hart.

We were hearing from him a moment ago. And I was asking Jeff Hart, had he ever built anything like this before.

HART: The -- the most unique challenge is the fact that you put on an enormous amount of stress, because there's 33 lives wondering, are -- are they actually going to get to us?

And those lives are at stake unless you do get there. So they're counting on us. So we put an extraordinary amount of -- of pressure on ourselves to get it done.

QUEST: Two follow-up questions.

Jeff, the -- we -- the -- the global economy relies so much, doesn't it, on mining, on drilling, on commodities, on resources?

We so often forget what an important part people like you and these miners do.

HART: You know, that's -- that's a fact. We've -- we've said amongst ourselves a number of times, it's very, very good that we finally have a positive story on drilling and -- and mining because it's -- it's not very often that you hear that. And so this is a very positive story. In this case, it takes drilling to save these lives. They're doing a -- a very difficult job when they were trapped. And it is. It's a very -- very successful story and it's extremely great for the business.

QUEST: So there -- that was Jeff Hart, who, incidentally, tonight is in Santiago, in Chile, the capital, where he -- he didn't want to wait until this rescue had taken place. And now a familiar -- I -- I -- I'm not going to say routine, because that -- that demeans what we've seen. The family comes forward as they await the final moments of the ascent of their loved ones. Again, not a betting man, but he said he wanted to see his sister as the first person who he wanted to see when he came out. I'm wondering whether that is his sister waiting at the -- at the top.

I'm guessing we've got about eight or nine minutes -- past eight minutes.

Guillermo is at the World Weather Center -- you can give me an update briefly, can't you, Guillermo?

And, of course we'll just interrupt the moment we have to?

GUILLERMO ADRUINO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Of course. You know, we are looking at a situation in the desert, so it is pretty warm now. We're looking at the conflict that we may have with the light. That's why they're wearing those goggles.

And what I'm going to do, since I speak Spanish, as soon as we have the miner taken out, I'm going to be hearing not programming, but the conversation there. And if there's any communication in Spanish that I can translate, I will do it.

So this has been happening very cleanly, no doubts about it and, also, efficiently. And our eyes are set on there. So we will see what happens, Richard.

QUEST: Well, yes. I -- I've -- I can't wait to hear your simultaneous translation of Spanish to English. This will be a treat in store for all of us involved -- Guillermo, while we await for this, I'm assuming it's desert. There's going to be no change in weather conditions.


QUEST: So anywhere else that we need to be concerned about around the world at the moment?

ADRUINO: No. Actually, I was looking at what was going on in the Gulf of Mexico because we have there, close to Yucatan, the proximity of a cyclone. And we're looking at that. Of course, Cancun is going to see some bad weather. And it is a hurricane. And it's going to be moving toward the western parts of Cuba, as well. And then the -- the models are a little bit crazy and we will see what happens. But it seems that it's going to be navigating those waters.

Back to Chile. You know what happens where with our observation is that we see the Atacama Desert Observatory. So it is not precisely where the mine is -- the miners are coming out at, which is 850 meters above sea level. So it's a little bit cooler. But apart from that, also, it's breezier.

You see there, with the vapor, you see the wind and how it -- more or less the situation. But I was more concerned the nighttime hours, when it goes down to 7, 8, 9 degrees.

But you know what?

In this situation, it seems that they are facing, the -- the issue really well and that that doesn't cause any complications at all -- Richard.

QUEST: And, you know, I have to say, the lady in blue who I married him off to or I said was his sister is actually his wife. But there we are, not to worry. And we are expecting the arrival of Dario Segovia at the top of the wellhead, at the top of the drilling head, I'm getting, in about four minutes from now. We have the additional delight of Guillermo, who's going to give simultaneous translation, because that's interesting, because I've been wondering what is it that they actually say.


QUEST: Ah, that siren might suggest -- I do believe they do a -- do a siren when a rescue is just about imminent. But anyway, we will come back with this rescue the moment -- I beg your pardon. The rescue is imminent. We're going to keep going -- Guillermo, you're still we me.

ADRUINO: Yes. Yes, I am.

QUEST: And I will continue talking until you feel that you want to take over with the Spanish translation.

The wife is not sit -- is now hugging the rescuers, the mines ministers, all the people that we've seen all day at the -- at the top of this mine. Number 20, 48-year-old Dario Antonio Segovia, from a mining family, is imminent.

Interestingly, that siren is blown the moment it's -- an arrival at the drill head is imminent, which is why, of course, we're able to keep going for the moment.

One min -- one meter per second, that's the rate of ascent -- or it was. I suspect not it's going a little bit faster. It seems to be, bearing in mind the speed at which -- Guillermo, you're still with me, I hope.


QUEST: And, Guillermo, chilly at night, I know, it's part of the pun, but I noticed people wearing very, very warm sweaters and coats at night.

ADRUINO: Yes. The -- a good indication of that is our own correspondent, Karl Penhaul, who is wearing a hoodie at night because -- or a hat because, of course, he's bald-headed and it must be very, very cold. Because the winds are also intense, 16, 20 kilometers per hour. And that takes away a little bit of the heat that we release from the body when we are exposed to the elements and especially a contrast. You get used to the daytime temperatures of -- of close to 20, 25 degrees with no humidity whatsoever. And then at night, with the wind and the temperatures plunging to maybe 7 degrees, it feels really, really cold.

The cool thing, also, that I was watching today is the addition of that camera on top of the cage that...


ADRUINO: -- occasionally we go to. That's a very cool gadget that we have to have an idea of what they are going through and also what -- they removed that other part of the mechanism when it gets to the top, to actually pull the case. So I think that's an indication on when the final moments are before the -- the person is rescued, literally.

OK, here we go. Let me see if I can listen to what they say.


ADRUINO: Arriba means up, upwards.


ADRUINO: How is it coming?

It's all OK, they are saying, because they are talking to him. And Darios said it's all OK.


ADRUINO: But the -- make sure that you have the goggles on, they are saying. "Dario, make sure you have the glasses on."