It was initially thought that the 33 Chilean miners trapped deep below ground since August 5th would be freed sometime in December. Yet the ringing of a bell early Saturday morning signaled that the rescue tunnel finally reached the miners. Families of the workers in Copiapo were overjoyed and hopeful that their loved ones will soon return to the surface as the following video from EFE showed:
Despite the happiness of today's achievement one of the trickiest steps will be coming up: miners will use explosives in order to widen the narrow tunnel shaft. If all goes well, the rescue operation is expected to begin early next week and could last as long as eight days.
Each miner has undergone a strict exercise and dietary regimen so that they can fit in the 24-inch wide capsule that will be lowered about 700 yards below ground.
Online Sources - The Guardian, BBC News, Bloomberg
Video Source - YouTube