The programme RESCUED: THE CHILEAN MINE STORY offers an exclusive look at the odyssey that returned 33 trapped miners to the surface in an unprecedented rescue mission –
On the afternoon of August 5, 2010, the San José copper and gold mine located 28 miles outside of Copiapó in northern Chile collapsed, trapping 33 miners underground. This was the beginning of a 70-day odyssey that would become one of the world’s most dramatic stories of rescue and survival. Using 3D graphics, exclusive footage and the unedited testimony of family members and other participants in this miraculous rescue mission, the Discovery Channel production RESCUED: THE CHILEAN MINE STORY provides a detailed exploration of the scientific and technological innovations that made this extraordinary effort possible.
Commenting on the programme, Rahul Johri, senior vice president & general manager, India, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific said, “Dedicated to creating high-quality content based on real life incidents, Discovery Channel, offers an exclusive look at the rescue mission at San Jose copper Mine, in Chile. The programme reflects an engineering, scientific and human perspective, granting viewers’ access inside the rescue compound. It also explores the extraordinary scientific and technological innovations that have been brought together to attempt the most challenging subterranean rescue operation of all time.”
The rescue of the 33 miners was an unprecedented effort and the intense human drama kept people around the world on the edge of their seats for more than two months. From the moment news broke of the mine’s collapse, the authorities, rescuers, engineers and technicians involved faced unimaginable challenges and came up with creative solutions to bring the men out from the depths of the earth alive. The first priority was to pinpoint the location of the refuge 2,300 feet below the ground where it was believed the miners could have sought shelter. After exhaustive probes, workers confirmed on August 22 that the miners were still alive. Next, the rescue team was faced with the need to design innovative communication, drilling and extraction strategies to carry off the large-scale rescue, while medical teams worked to maintain the miners’ physical and psychological health.
Thanks to exclusive access to the work area around the three huge drills used in the operation (Plans A, B and C, conducted by Strata 950, T-30 and RIG-421 drills, respectively) and the “control room” that served as the nerve centre for the mission, Rescued: The Chilean Mine Story gives a real-time look at the engineers, doctors, psychologists and countless other professionals involved as they evaluated existing alternatives for solving the complex problems presented by the mission. The programme draws on their testimony and unedited images to explain how science and technology were able to overcome the many challenges the rescue implied.
Rescued: The Chilean Mine Story also provides an up-close glimpse of the human drama endured by victims and rescuers alike in this daring operation. Exclusive images allow audiences to witness the range of emotions experienced by the engineers, rescuers, officials, physicians and families during the ordeal, as well as at the moment the miners were reunited with their loved ones.
Finally, the programme presents exclusive interviews with main figures in the rescue mission, including André Sougarret, the lead engineer; Michael Duncan, a NASA specialist who advised the medical team overseeing the miners’ health during their captivity; and Laurence Golborne, Chile’s Mining Minister.