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(NECN: John Moroney) - The 33 miners trapped underground for the last 70 days are now preparing to embark on a new life. They're all celebrities now, and won't be venturing down into the San Jose mine again any time soon.
Less than 24 hours after the rescue started, the last miner reached the surface. The rescue capsule served as a lifeline for each of the miners, and they all looked great and were in great spirits when they emerged. All were greeted by rescuers, their loved ones, and hugs from Chile's president Sebastian Pinera.
The miners were extremely grateful to those that helped rescue them.
"It's incredible that we were down 700 meters and they recovered us," said Mario Sepulveda, the second miner out who cheered with the crowd and handed pieces of the mine out to rescue workers.
"I'm proud to be Chilean and to live here," said Luis Urza, the mining foreman and the last to get out.
Chile's health minister has said that all are healthier than expected, but one is being treated for pneumonia, and two will need to have dental surgery. They are all in a nearby hospital receiving tests, and some are expected to be released later tonight.