NOVA: Emergency Mine Rescue on WXXI-TV

NOVA: Emergency Mine Rescue on WXXI-TV

Tue, 10/26/2010 - 8:00pm

Pictured: "Plan B" team celebrating on breaking through to the miners on Saturday, October 9, 2010, San José Mine, Copiapo, Chile

Credit: Courtesy of WGBH

NOVA chronicles the miners’ 69-day ordeal and the work of a global team of engineers who struggled tirelessly in a desperate bid to bring the trapped miners safely to the surface.

Trapped under nearly a half-mile of solid rock in a collapsed mine in Chile’s remote Atacama desert, 33 miners fight for survival, battling 95 degree heat, near-total darkness and — most dangerous of all — the risk of losing all hope of rescue. With special access to the site of the San José mine and interviews with the mining engineers and the miners’ steadfast families, Emergency Mine Rescue reveals the stories of the three rescue teams, racing against time — and each other — to punch through the layers of rock and reach the miners’ chamber.

NOVA: Emergency Mine Rescue airs Tuesday, October 26 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 11/cable 1011).

Using footage from “Camp Hope,” the tent city where miners’ families kept vigil waiting for news of their loved ones, and animations of the underground tunnels carved out by a century of mining, Emergency Mine Rescue reveals the extraordinary feats of engineering that finally brought the miners to the surface, leading up to their astonishing rescue in a custom-made capsule barely 21 inches wide. “Emergency Mine Rescue” also explores the physical and psychological impact of the miners’ prolonged ordeal, revealing how strong leadership, the support of family and friends and unswerving faith in their ultimate rescue kept the miners from mental collapse. A story of survival against the odds and faith in the face of despair, “Emergency Mine Rescue” gives viewers an unprecedented look at this triumph of technology and of the human spirit.

PBS' premier science series helps viewers of all ages explore the science behind the headlines. Along the way, NOVA programs demystify science and technology, and highlight the people involved in scientific pursuits.