33 Chilean Mine Collapse

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As a child of about twelve years of age, I remember watching history being made when 33 Chilean miners were extracted from the collapsed San Jose mine just outside the city of Copiapo in Chile. For more than five years, I marveled at the idea of 33 men being trapped within a mine for such an extended period of time, and wanted to know exactly how the ordeal took place and the details of how the men survived. Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free, by the Pulitzer prize winning journalist and novelist, Hector Tobar, provides those details because he was granted private interviews with each of the miners, obtaining information never before revealed. The San Jose mine began operating…show more content…
This was the daily routine for the A shift, but in a few hours, this “daily routine” would take a turn for the worst. The men had no knowledge of this, but there was a diorite (mega-block) that had broken off from the rest of the mountain in level 540 and was, “knocking out entire sections of the ramp causing a chain reaction as the mountain above it collapses too” (28). This and the mine’s bad maintenance - chimneys are supposed to be equipped with ladders in case of a disaster - is what’s blocking their only…show more content…
Tobar writes in the present-tense and carefully executes every one of the miner’s experiences. Hector Tobar’s writing is skilled and detailed, with no flaws in mechanics detected. The only weakness I discerned was the amount of characters in the book. At times it was difficult to remember which person was married to who, who had a daughter going to college, who had a son getting bullied in school, and who had a mistress. Tobar’s main stylistic characteristic is his descriptive and informative diction. He describes each of the men in full description: “Jose Vega is a fit, wiry man of seventy with smoky brown skin and curly sideburns who began to work in mining when he was a teenager.” (76). With these detailed renditions, it is easy for the reader to envision exactly how the men looked like, even though there are pictures of each man provided in one of the first pages of the book. Furthermore, Tobar is exceptionally precise, writing about how the rescuers will begin drilling significantly slower “sacrificing speed for accuracy”, drilling at six rotations per minute rather than the usual 12 or 15. With Tobars exceptional wording and descriptions, any possible questions from the reader are diminished. Throughout the book, Tobar’s tone remains informational: “As the notary leaves the mine the T130 drill has reached 428 meters, and

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