Chilean Miners: Order of Rescue (Names & Faces)

Tuesday the world waited for the rescue efforts of the Chilean miners to begin. I watched as miner after miner was slowly brought to the surface. In the morning before I left for work, I watched more.

Wednesday evening, I was at work and knew I would not make it home in time to see the last miner being rescued. Thankfully, it was streaming live on the internet and I was able to tune in just before they brought #33 to the surface.


capsule as it arrives to rescue the last miner



last miner as he arrives at the surfaces and exits the capsule


The emotion of that moment overcame me  as I knew the world was watching and we were all waiting with baited breath for it finally to be over.  I took several screen-shots’ of each moment that truly touched me. Here are two of them.

After all of the miners were rescued and all of the rescuers were safe, I started to think about the men – not, collectively but as individuals. Who were they exactly. I googled their names and found this list below which gives a brief description of each as well as the official times of their rescue. (to see photos and rescue videos of each miner, click on link below).

(CBS/AP) Rescue order of the men pulled from the San Jose mine in Chile, with some details on each: 

1. 12:04 a.m. – Florencio Avalos, 31, the second-in-command of the miners, chosen to be first because he was in the best condition.

2. 1:10 a.m. – Mario Sepulveda Espina, 40, who captivated Chileans with his engaging personality in videos sent up from underground.

3. 2:08 a.m. – Juan Illanes, 52, a married former soldier who urged his fellow miners to be disciplined and organized while trapped.
4. 3:09 a.m. – Carlos Mamani, 24, the lone Bolivian, started at the mine five days before the collapse. One of 11 children who emigrated because he could find work, he has been promised a house and a job from Bolivian President Evo Morales.

5. 4:10 a.m. – Jimmy Sanchez, at 19, the youngest miner and father of a months-old baby.

6. 5:34 a.m. – Osman Isidro Araya, 30, the father of three, had planned to quit the mine at the end of August because of the risk.

7. 6:21 a.m. – Jose Ojeda, 47, a widower with no children who has diabetes. Two of his nephews were on hand at the site to greet him.

8. 7:02 a.m. – Claudio Yanez, 34, a drill operator who requested cigarettes be sent down while awaiting rescue and expressed disgust at the nicotine patches he received instead.

9. 7:59 a.m. – Mario Gomez, at 63 is the oldest of the miners. He also is the most experienced, having first entered a mine shaft to work at the age of 12.

10. 8:52 a.m. – Alex Vega, 31, who is married with two children, had been saving to buy a house and move out of his parents’ home. His father helped in rescue efforts – using a false name because officials prohibited relatives from doing the dangerous work.

11. 9:31 a.m. – Jorge Galeguillos, 55, was injured in at least two earlier mining accidents. He has 13 brothers and requires medication for hypertension. Officials have promised to help his son, who is a university student.

12. 10:11 a.m. – Edison Pena, who is 34 and married, was reportedly among the most depressed of the trapped men and asked rescuers to send down a photo of the sun. He tried to run everyday underground for exercise.

13. 10:54 a.m. – Carlos Barrios, 27, is the father of a 5-year-old boy. He is separated from his wife. According to the BBC, Barrios is the shift leader of Grupo Rampa.

14. 11:30 a.m. – Victor Zamora, 34, was an auto mechanic and laborer who has worked at the mine for five years. He sent up poems to his wife, who is pregnant, and is the father of a 4-year-old boy. While underground, he complained of tooth pain.

15. 12:07 p.m. – Victor Segovia, 48, kept a diary of life below, asking those above to send down more pencils and paper. He has five children, is an electrician and plays guitar.

16. 12:49 pm. – Daniel Herrera, 37, was a truck driver and taxi driver. Herrera is single; his mother and sister have been waiting for him at Camp Hope.

17. 1:39 p.m. – Omar Reygadas, a 56-year-old widower who worked as an electrician and led one of three groups down below after the 33 men divided their duties to keep organized. He has six children, 14 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. He’s spent three decades working the mines – and this is the third time he’s been trapped underground.

18. 2:49 p.m. – Esteban Rojas, 44, in charge of maintenance, has vowed to marry his longtime girlfriend in a church after he is freed.

19. 3:27 p.m. – Pablo Rojas, 45, reportedly went to work at the mine six months ago to help pay university fees for his son, who is studying medicine. He is married.

20. 3:59 p.m. – Dario Segovia, 48, is a lifelong miner whose father first took him underground at age 8. Twice married, he had three children from each marriage. He had worked at the mine for three months, drilling holes for dynamite. He has 12 brothers and sisters.

21. 4:31 p.m. – Johnny Barrios Rojas, 50, worked for 25 years at the mine and served as the medic for the group because he’d had first aid training. Awaiting above are relationships that need healing as well: his wife and his lover met at Camp Hope.

22. 5:04 p.m. – Samuel Avalos, 43, is married with three children, had been working as a street vender and got a job at the mine for more money.

23. 5:32 p.m. – Carlos Bugueno, 26, found himself trapped alongside a childhood friend, Pedro Cortez. A passionate soccer fan, he asked to have game broadcasts piped below. Relatives said the former security guard went to work at the mine to earn money for a car and house.

24. 5:59 p.m. – Jose Henriquez, 55, formed and led a prayer group while trapped and had friends send 33 small Bibles down the tiny supply hole. Chilean reports say that in January he helped save several miners who had passed out in the mine, apparently due to gas, and had to be rescued himself when he was overcome returning for another miner. Married with twin daughters, he has spent 33 years in the mines and survived a landslide on the surface in 1986.

25. 6:24 p.m. – Renan Avalos, 29, is the brother of the first man out. He had worked at the mine five months.

26. 6:51 p.m. – Claudio Acuna, 44, proposed to his girlfriend Fabiola Araya from below ground. He has two children.

27. 7:18 p.m. – Franklin Lobos, 53, a former professional soccer player, drove the bus that carried the miners to work. Lobos was a midfielder on the Chilean teams La Serena, Iquique and Cobresal, and was on the national team that qualified for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He has two daughters.

28. 7:44 p.m. – Richard Villaroel, 23, is returning to his wife, who is in the late stages of pregnancy.

29. 8:13 p.m. – Juan Carlos Aguilar, 46, has worked as a miner since he was 19. He is married with two children.

30. 8:37 p.m. – Raul Bustos, 40, a hydraulic engineer, was caught up in both of Chile’s two recent tragedies. The tsunami caused by February’s earthquake destroyed the shipyard where he worked. So he journeyed north to work in the mine two months before he was trapped there. He would travel back 20 hours by bus to visit his wife and two children.

31. 9:01 p.m. – Pedro Cortez, 25, an electrician, helped install the communications system used to talk back and forth with the surface. He lost a finger in an earlier mining accident. He and his wife are separated and have one daughter.

32. 9:28 p.m. – Ariel Ticona, 28, was still awaiting rescue when his wife gave birth to their second daughter. They named her “Hope.” He worked with Cortez to install the underground communications system.

33. 9:55 p.m. – Luis Alberto Urzua, 54, shift foreman at the time of the collapse, is widely credited with helping the men survive by enforcing tight rations of their limited food, lights and other supplies. Speaking for the miners shortly after their discovery, he told Chilean President Sebastian Pinera: “We hope that all of Chile shows its strength to help us get out of this hell.”

‘order of rescue list’ source:


Please Leave a Reply. Another reader might relate to your comment. Thank you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s