• Short Summary

    THE ORDEAL OF THE NINE FRENCH MINERS TRAPPED FOR EIGHT DAYS MORE THAN 260 FEET UNDERGROUND AT CHAMPAGNOLE, IN EASTERN FRANCE, ENDED TODAY (TUESDAY) AS THEY WERE HAULED TO THE SURFACE ONE BY ONE IN A METAL RESCUE CAPSULE.

  • Description

    THE ORDEAL OF THE NINE FRENCH MINERS TRAPPED FOR EIGHT DAYS MORE THAN 260 FEET UNDERGROUND AT CHAMPAGNOLE, IN EASTERN FRANCE, ENDED TODAY (TUESDAY) AS THEY WERE HAULED TO THE SURFACE ONE BY ONE IN A METAL RESCUE CAPSULE.

    THEY WERE BROUGHT UP AT FIFTEEN-MINUTE INTERVALS TO THE LOUD CHEERS OF A CROWD OF ONLOOKERS JAMMED TIGHT BEHIND A POLICE CORDON. AS EACH MAN EMERGED, LOOKING HAGGARD AND BLINKING IN THE STRONG SUNLIGHT, HE WAS ASSISTED OR CARRIED TO A WAITING AMBULANCE WHICH TOOK HIM TO HOSPITAL.

    AN OIL DRILL, SINKING THE RESCUE SHAFT, BROKE THROUGH TO THE GALLERY WHERE THE NINE MEN WERE ENTOMBED SOON AFTER NOON TODAY. IT WAS MORE THAN HOURS LATER BEFORE ENGINEERS WERE AGREED THAT THE RESCUE CAPSULE WOULD WORK FAULTLESSLY.

    THE TRAPPED MEN SAID THEY WERE NOT CONCERNED DURING THE FINAL BREAK-THROUGH, AND ADDED THAT ONLY THREE PIECES OF ROCK FELL AS THE DRILL BIT PIERCED THE GALLERY'S ROOF. WHILE ENGINEERS TESTED THE ESCAPE CAPSULE, THE TRAPPED MINERS BUSIED THEMSELVES WITH CLEARING RUBBLE UNDER THE BOREHOLE AND BY ENLARGING THE BOTTOM OF THE OPENING.

    A TRIAL RUN WITH THE CAPSULE, WHICH WAS LOADED WITH SAND, TOOK TWENTY MINUTES, AND EVEN THEN FINAL ADJUSTMENTS HAD TO BE MADE BEFORE THE ENGINEERS AT THE SCENE WERE SATISFIED. AT SIXTEEN MINUTES PAST FIVE, LOCAL TIME, THE CAPSULE REACHED THE SURFACE WITH THE FIRST MAN ABOARD - ANDRE JACQUES, A 23-YEAR-OLD MARRIED MAN WITH NO CHILDREN.

    THE SCENE WAS REPEATED EVERY QUARTER HOUR, AND AS EACH MAN CAME UP THE INITIAL REQUEST WAS PRACTICALLY THE SAME...CHAMPAGNE! BUT THE TOASTS HAD TO WAIT - FIRST THERE WAS A QUICK MEDICAL CHECK AND THE DRIVE TO THE CHAMPAGNOLE HOSPITAL WHERE THEIR FAMILIES AWAITED THEM.

    WORST AFFECTED BY THE ORDEAL SEEMED TO BE PIERRE CONUS, WHO AT TWENTY-ONE WAS THE YOUNGEST OF THE TRAPPED MINERS. HE APPEARED TO BE VERY THIN AND WEAK AS HE STUMBLED FROM THE CAPSULE AND WAS AT ONCE LAID ON A STRETCHER AND CARRIED TO AN AMBULANCE.

    LAST OF THE MINERS TO EMERGE WAS ANDRE MARTINET, THE FOREMAN OF THE GROUP, WHO HAD VOLUNTARILY DECIDED TO WAIT UNTIL ALL HIS TEAM HAD BEEN BROUGHT TO THE SURFACE. MARTINET, AGED 44, REACHED THE SURFACE AT NINETEEN MINUTES TO SEVEN THIS EVENING, JUST EIGHT DAYS SIX HOURS AND FORTY-ONE MINUTES AFTER THE CAVE IN.

    IN THE MEANTIME, ATTEMPTS TO FIND THE OTHER FIVE MEN WHO WERE LOST IN THE CAVE IN ARE CONTINUING. NOTHING HAS BEEN HEARD OF THEM SINCE FAINT TAPPING SOUNDS WERE DETECTED AT THE WEEKEND AND HOPE OF FINDING THEM ALIVE IS FADING.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAC77S2W2FAAKT6KE1BVCQQTJ2O
    Media URN:
    VLVAC77S2W2FAAKT6KE1BVCQQTJ2O
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    04/08/1964
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:59:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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