13 July, 2014

Hector Tobar: How the Chilean Miners Survived : The New Yorker

Hector Tobar: How the Chilean Miners Survived : The New Yorker:

Urzúa was pretty sure that there was no escape, and little prospect
of rescuers reaching them. He broke the silence by counting the men.
Raúl Villegas, an ore-truck driver, was missing, but Lobos and
Galleguillos said that they had seen him on his way to the surface.
(Villegas was the only one who got out that day.) Urzúa’s count came to
thirty-two men, but he was not confident that the figure correctly
reflected the shift, because in the San José Mine the lists of workers
changed from one day to the next.

 The men split into two groups.
One, a small escape party that included Urzúa, Sepúlveda, and Bustos,
would search for an opening to the surface. The second, about two dozen
men, headed back to the Refuge to wait. Florencio Ávalos, the shift’s
foreman and the second in command after Urzúa, spoke privately to Yonni
Barrios, who was among the oldest and most experienced in the group.
“Down in the Refuge, take care of those provisions,” Ávalos said. “Don’t
let the boys eat them yet, because we may be trapped for days.”