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Joy replaces anguish as Chile miners taste freedom

In Camp Hope, the makeshift village started by family members of 33 trapped Chile miners, 10 weeks of anguish culminated in tears of joy as miners began to be hauled out overnight.

Miner Mario Gomez, 63, the oldest of the 33 trapped miners, hugs his wife Lilianett Ramirez as he arrives on the surface as the ninth to be rescued in Copiapo, Chile, Oct. 13.

David Mercado

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Capsule down, capsule in the tunnel, capsule up. Cheers and chants of "The miners of Chile!" exploded each time another one of the 33 miners trapped for more than two months was pulled to safety.

The crowds of supporters barely thinned the day the miners began to emerge from the mine after 69 days below the surface – even deep into the wee hours of the morning.

RELATED: 5 reasons the Chile mine rescue was so successful

Families huddled for warmth around campfires, but few were staring at the glowing charcoal. All eyes were on big-screen televisions with live broadcasts of the conclusion of the deepest, most time-consuming mine rescue ever.

In Camp Hope, the makeshift village started by family members of 33 miners trapped in this copper and gold mine, 10 weeks of anguish, excitement, boredom, and anticipation culminated in tears of joy just after midnight as first one, then a second, and eventually many miners were hauled out of their steamy dungeon in a tiny cage.

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