The families of 33 trapped miners in Chile have sounded horns and reflected on the ordeal of their loved ones who have so far spent two months underground.
Their own patience has been rewarded with news that the men could be freed ahead of previous estimates – in fact as early as this weekend – if some engineers are to be believed.
Originally it was thought the men would not be brought to the surface this side of Christmas.
Chief engineer Andres Sougarret was more cautious.
“I feel that everybody’s wish, and I include myself in this, is to get them out as soon as possible. But we cannot take any risks and we must take all steps required to make sure the shaft is secured,” he said.
Despite delays and breakdowns to the three drills racing to reach the men surviving in a shelter some 700 metres down, progress has been swift.
Since being discovered alive, the men have been rebuilding their strength and helping with the rescue effort. They have had about a kilometre of tunnel to walk around and have been surviving on food sent through small holes drilled from the surface.