CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - The miner who became the cameraman who recorded the day-to-day activities of the trapped miners in Chile will be the first one rescued, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said Tuesday.
The world will be watching as Florencio Avalos, 31, is extracted from the San Jose mine after 69 days of captivity, together with 32 others.
Pinera estimated that the rescue operation would begin at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. ET).
"I'm very anxious, I'm very happy," Avalos' mother, Maria Silva, told CNN Chile. She imagined that she will be speechless when she places her arms around her son for the first time in months.
In the hours before the highly anticipated rescue, the sounds of the site were those of a construction site as last-minute preparations were made. Drilling, beeping, rumbling and hammering filled the air at the mine site.
"Today's the end of a long journey," Pinera said after touring the site.
"This story started as a possible tragedy, and we hope that it ends as a blessing," he said.
Filed under: 360° Radar
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