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April 15 , 2009

Buried Alive

The True Story of the Chilean Mining Disaster and the Extraordinary Rescue at Camp Hope


On August 5, 2010, a tunnel in the gold and copper mine in the Atacama Desert in Chile collapsed, with all of its miners trapped underground. For days, the families waited breathlessly as percussion drills searched out signs of life. Finally, a note came back from below – the miners were alive and safe. Now the rescue crew needed to burrow through 2300 feet of solid rock to get them out. For nine weeks, the world watched as Chile threw all of its resources into the effort. Televisions flashed images of worried families holding vigil night and day and of Chile's newly elected President Pinera making their recovery his personal crusade. What the cameras didn't reveal was the behind-the-scenes intrigue: the corruption that led to faulty construction of the tunnel in the first place; how the men lived in a muddy and humid environment where the temperature was unbearably hot; how the rescue effort became a political campaign to raise the president's sagging numbers; and the abundant hope necessary to sustain the men in their underground captivity. Author Manuel Pino takes us into his native Chile and, drawing on direct access to the miners and their families, weaves a rich narrative of extraordinary survival and triumph.

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