View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Wednesday 13 October

As I'm typing this, the 18th miner is on his way up from the collapsed mine in Chile, 30 miles from the town of Copiapo, about 400 miles north of the country's capital, Santiago. Esteban Rojas follows the route, up an incredibly narrow shaft, taken by 17 of his shiftmates over the preceding 15 hours. It is hoped to have all 33 out in the early hours of Thursday morning, local time (GMT -3 hours). It is not often that a mining accident of this scale leads to a happy outcome, and I really hope that the rescue will be completed successfully. Chile's mines do not have a good safety record, and it is expected that regulations will be tightened. I have watched this operation on live television over the past 8 hours, and it has been very moving.

Further information has come forth regarding the unsuccessful operation to rescue Linda Norgrove in Afghanistan last week. It would appear that an American marine tossed a fragmentation grenade into the compound where Linda was cowering, exploding next to her - wounding her mortally.

Wednesday started dull and overcast, but the sun put in an appearance after lunchtime. Not very warm, only 11C / 52F.