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NOVA: Emergency Mine Rescue

Airs Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: "Plan B" team celebrating on breaking through to the miners on Saturday, October 9, 2010, San José Mine, Copiapo, Chile. With special access to the site of the San José, Chile, mine and interviews with the mining engineers and the miners’ families, NOVA chronicles the miners’ 69-day ordeal and the heroic work of a global team of engineers who struggled tirelessly around the clock 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. NOVA chronicles the miners’ 69-day ordeal and the heroic work of a global team of engineers who struggled tirelessly around the clock in a desperate bid to bring the trapped miners safely to the surface.

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. 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.

Video

Preview: NOVA: Emergency Mine Rescue

Above: With special access to the site of the San José, Chile, mine, the mining engineers and the miners’ families, NOVA chronicles the miners’ 69-day ordeal and the work of a global team of engineers who struggled tirelessly around the clock in a desperate bid to bring the trapped miners safely to the surface. Premiering October 26, 2010 on PBS.