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Last of Trapped Miners Reaches Surface Safely

By: CBS
By: CBS

The ordeal is over for 33 men trapped underground for more than two months in a mine in Chile.

The last of the 33 miners is finally free. 54-year-old Luis Urzua was the shift leader who held his men together throughout their ordeal.

One by one, the miners made the 15-minute journey... two-thousand feet to the top... emerging into the spotlight after 69 days underground.

Greeting their loved ones with hugs... tears... and prayers.

And in one case -- a cheer.

Miner Ariel Ticona has been waiting to meet the baby daughter born while he was trapped underground.

"Today I think all the Chileans and probably people around the world have learned a lesson,” said Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. “ A lesson of unity and courage. A lesson of faith. A lesson of hope."

The only mechanical glitch all day came when workers had to fix a broken door latch.

The Health Minister says the miners are in remarkably good shape,.. but one has pneumonia and several will need dental surgery.

One of the miners, Yonni Barrios, was nicknamed "the Doctor" for taking care of his colleagues underground.

The rescues have been broadcast live, around the clock, for TV audiences around the world. Even President Obama was watching.

"Let me also commend the so many people of good will, not only in Chile but also from the United States and around the world who are lending a hand in this rescue effort," the President said.

Pope Benedict offered a blessing in Spanish.

Many of the miners emerged wearing t-shirts that summed up their feelings. "Gracias Senior," they said -- "Thank you, Lord."


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