WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Wednesday hailed the “inspirational” story of the transfixing rescue of a group of Chilean miners who were trapped underground for more than two months.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that the president watched on television as the first miner was brought to the surface late Tuesday, and was particularly struck by the pictures of a young boy embracing his father.
“I asked him what he was thinking about when he was watching, and he said obviously this is a tremendously inspirational story,” Gibbs said.
“A story with a happy ending … as a parent, to watch a miner’s son waiting for him to come out of a mine that he had been trapped in for almost seventy days … was tremendously inspirational.”
By the middle of Wednesday, 17 of the 33 miners trapped below ground had been winched up through a narrow escape shaft drilled in the bowels of a mountain in the Atacama desert where they were trapped on August 5.