Rescue of First Chilean Miner to Begin

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Chilean officials said Tuesday rescue for the 33 miners trapped in Chile is just hours away.

Crews are expecting the first man to be pulled out before midnight on Tuesday, Chile's Mining Minister Laurence Golborne announced.

The men, who have miraculously survived underground for more than two months, will be pulled up one at a time in a small rescue capsule.
A video camera and other monitoring devices will be in place so doctors can keep an eye on the men during the assent.

Health Minister Jaime Manalich said those in the best shape mentally and physically would be pulled out first. That way, if any problems occur they would be best prepared to handle them and also tell their comrades what to expect. 

"Our job is to provide benefit and not harm," Manalich said, urging the media - more than 1,000 journalists are working on the story - to respect their privacy.

"We have to protect them until the last minute, until they can return to normal lives with their families," he added.

The miners' families will witness the rescues and welcome the men to the surface. 

"Here the tension is higher than down below. Down there they are calm," said Veronica Ticona, sister of 29-year-old Ariel Ticona, a trapped rubble-removal machine operator.
Officials said the trip to the surface will take about 20 minutes for each miner.

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