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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Live Coverage of the Chilean Mine Rescue
Aired October 12, 2010 - 23:59 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Thank you, Anderson. What a night. You know, I was thinking about this. We have witnessed, ladies and gentlemen -- we have witnessed something never witnessed ever before, ever. Ever! An incredible and dramatic ordeal is finally ending for the trapped miners. As we speak, one of the miners has made it out of the mine. Thirty-two more are waiting to be taken to the top. In fact, Mario Sepulveda, number two, is on his way up right now. He should arrive, as Anderson pointed out, if all goes well, in about 11 minutes. And we'll be here for the second one.
There's no way to express in words what kind of an event this, what a story this is for the miners, for the people of Chile, for the country, for NASA, which helped so much, and for those people there, the rescue workers who spent all this time. Remember, they said it would be Christmas? And here it is early October. They got them out. They were trapped in August.
Let's take a look at the first miner making it to the surface. Watch.
KING: You're watching a second live edition of LARRY KING LIVE on this historic day and morning. It is now a little after 1:00 AM in Chile.
Joining us now is CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman. Gary, sometimes words can fail.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No question about it, Larry. Tell me if you feel this way. This reminded me of July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on the moon for the first time. It was that kind of experience. You had this feeling that people all over the world are watching this. You're waiting. You're tense. It took 15 minutes. It finally came up, the capsule, and out stepped the first miner.
And the significance of this is this. Not only do you have one miner (INAUDIBLE) a second miner, who we hope will be -- will come up safe in about seven minutes, but it shows that this capsule can work with a human being inside of it. They tested the capsule without a human being yesterday, and they didn't know until the first miner successful made it up right behind me that it would definitely 100 percent work. And it has. And that gives a lot of comfort to the family members of the other 31 miners who are still 2,300 feet below us.
KING: You know, through this incredible world of communications, as I said coming on with our second edition, we have witnessed something, Gary, never witnessed before, ever.
TUCHMAN: Yes. I would call this the ultimate live shot. I mean, who would imagine?
TUCHMAN: We're really in a remote part of Chile. Here we are in South America. We're about 500 miles north of the capital of Santiago. This area where we are has been a mine for generations. There's never been anyone who lived anyone near here. They come to work here, but they have to travel about 45 minutes to the nearest city.
Now for the past several weeks, it's become this little city, Camp Hope. They hope for a good outcome. So for the first time ever, there's been a couple thousand people lived here who created this city, and it's a city with absolutely no comforts, no sanitation whatsoever. We're sleeping in tents on the desert dirt here. That's really the only accommodations.
There are no bathrooms, there are just port-a-potties. There are no real showers of any kind. And that's what the family members are dealing with, too. Obviously, these are their loved ones 2,300 feet below. They want to be here. We want to be here covering it. So it's an extraordinary circumstance, a very remote place.
These miners are almost a half a mile underground, and we are showing live pictures of this drama. It's just an incredible day not only for miners, for their families, but also, frankly, for broadcast journalism.
KING: You're not kidding. Interesting, the second miner who will be up shortly is named Mario Sepulveda, and that's one of -- as you know, Gary, one of the major arteries in Los Angeles is Sepulveda Boulevard. Drove on it yesterday.
TUCHMAN: Well, I'm telling you -- we know that Sepulveda Boulevard that runs through Los Angeles and goes to LAX is most likely -- and you may know the answer to this -- named after another Sepulveda. But after this over...
KING: I guess.
TUCHMAN: ... on October 13th, when is actually when -- is actually when the first man came up here, October 13th, because it was after midnight local time here -- October 13th may become a national holiday in Chile, and Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles may also be named after Mario Sepulveda, the second miner who's about to come up any minute.
KING: Now, when is -- when he is he due now? If we're timing it based on the arrival of the first one, this should be what, another minute or so, two minutes?
TUCHMAN: Yes, now, he started off at 11:55 Eastern time. It's now about 12:05. So the first miner came up at 15 minutes. So I suspect we're about five minutes away, if it goes the same timing, which I fully expect it will.
KING: Patrick Oppman, our CNN all platform journalist, you're with a number of relatives, are you not? What are they feeling now?
PATRICK OPPMAN, CNN ALL PLATFORM JOURNALIST: The people here are so happy. You know, this is the hometown of many, many miners. Here's a fellow miner right here, a man by the name of Raul Cortez (ph). He worked in the same mine, said it was a very dangerous mine. He's happy to hear the Chilean president just a few moments ago say that mine would be closed if it can't improve their safety (INAUDIBLE) that mine.
And (INAUDIBLE) just a few minutes ago, when the first miner was pulled to the surface, people here went crazy. They were shouting. They were crying, jumping up and down. We'll probably see those scenes again just in several seconds, Larry, when this crowd gets to see the second miner reach the surface.
It's going to be a very exciting moment. And as you can see, people are waving the flags. It's past midnight here in Chile. The crowd has stayed strong here, still seeing people come into the square. They're a little tired. They're sitting down. But a lot of people say they will stay here throughout the night, into the morning, until all 33 miners are freed.
And we're just waiting now for Mario Sepulveda to reach the surface. When he does, we know that people here are just going to go crazy again. It's such an exciting moment for people here. You know (INAUDIBLE) a large mining community in this town. And people -- for them, it's not -- here we go! Here we go. We're starting to hear the cries, starting to hear the emotion, the voices, the flags waving. Any minute now, Mario Sepulveda will be up at the surface. And let's just listen in because the excitement is building here in Copiapo, the home town of many of these mayors (SIC) -- many of these miners.
KING: Let's just watch.
OPPMAN: And you're starting to see a little bit of the top of that capsule, Larry. I think you heard a cry of "Viva Chile" from the mineshaft, Larry. You're starting to hear some horns here. And the electricity in the air here, Larry, is incredible, incredible excitement, people watching with bated breath. They have their hands over their mouths. Every eye is glued to the screen, Larry. You can just cut the tension with a knife.
They want to see another miner being brought to the surface, another miner being brought safely to the surface. I know moments ago, when the first miner, (INAUDIBLE) was brought to the surface, people just went insane here. We're waiting now. Any minute now, we'll see the second miner brought to the surface.
And here we go! You hear the clapping, Larry. People are getting very excited.
KING: Well, if it's the same time as the first one, it should be in 30 seconds. OPPMAN: (INAUDIBLE) are from. (INAUDIBLE) watching the screen behind us. Here we go, Larry! Here we go! Listen to the crowd. Let's listen to the crowd. Yells of "Viva mineros (ph)," (INAUDIBLE) with the miners. Again, just incredible excitement here in Copiapo, Chile, a mining town that is very proud tonight of those 33 miners.
Flags waving, Larry. I'm seeing tears in the eyes of (INAUDIBLE) people. And this crowd is just caught in an unimaginable (ph) moment (ph). There's Mario Sepulveda, the second rescued miner from the (INAUDIBLE) is brought to the surface, his long ordeal at last over. We have seen a second miner in Chile freed.
KING: That's the president of Chile hugging Mario Sepulveda, the second miner to emerge to safety.
While we watch this incredible scene, we're joined in Morgantown, West Virginia, by Dr. Julian Bales (ph). Dr. Bales treated Randal McCloy, the sole survivor of the Sago mine disaster. You remember that. He's chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of West Virginia.
Dr. Bales, the first thing is they're coming up in the dark because of what light might do to their eyes. How long will they have to keep glasses on? They haven't seen sunlight since August.
DR. JULIAN BALES, TREATED SAGO SURVIVOR RANDAL MCCLOY: I'm not sure if anybody knows that for certain, but I wouldn't think very long, Larry. I think that fairly soon, they will get re-acclimated to the light, as well as everything else about being home and up on the surface again.
KING: What about pressure, temperature and the like?
BALES: Well, I think they've been in a hotter environment down below, but I think -- once again, I think the body is able to readjust to that fairly soon. So I don't think that will be a major problem, either.
KING: Your field is neurosurgery. Is there any neurosurgical effect of this?
BALES: Hopefully, not. Hopefully, not. I wouldn't imagine so. You know, I think we look at the experience of the environment down below for the 68 days, and then we look at what may happen upon the ascent and the emergence back to life on the surface of the earth. And I doubt that they will have any problem that would need neurosurgical or neurological intensive care.
KING: What about shock?
BALES: Well, shock, I think would be, if they came up and they had a problem with blood pressure from dehydration or perhaps the effects of being down so long with kidney problems or others. They certainly, I think, were in reasonably good air or very good air, certainly compared to other miners in the past and -- such as the Sago mine disaster, as you mentioned. So I think that shock shouldn't be a problem, either, as long as they make the ascent OK without the things we've heard about, vomiting and dehydration, or anything like that occurring.
KING: Gary Tuchman, how far are you from this scene we are seeing right now?
TUCHMAN (on-camera): Larry, we're about three football fields, about 300 yards away from the scene. There's an irony here, is that we -- me and about 150 other journalists from an estimated 39 countries -- are the closest civilians to this amazing scene behind us, but we don't see it better than you see it and our viewers see it because we don't have the monitors there seeing the close-up shots. However, we can soak it all in. It's like going to a football game, an NFL game. You see it better on TV with the replays, but when you're at the game, you really feel the spirit. And it's just an incredible spirit you feel here as you're watching these very historic and heart-warming scenes.
KING: And Dr. Bales, you treated Randal McCloy, the sole survivor of Sago. How did he do?
BALES: Well, Randal made a great recovery. As you know, he was the longest known survivor, 41-and-a-half hours, 2.5 miles deep in the mountain. Out of 13 miners, he was the only one to survive. And Randy went on to make, in my opinion, a complete recovery and has done excellent.
KING: Thank you, Dr. Bales. We'll return to this scene in a moment. Lots of other medical considerations that go into bringing the survivors to the top. We'll talk about that next. Don't go away.
KING: We're joined now by Mike Rowe, the host of "Dirty Jobs." The new season returns to Discovery on Tuesday, October 19th. He was trapped once, by the way, in a cave in Kentucky. He might have some interesting thoughts on tonight's events. Dr. Charles Sophy is with us, the psychiatrist who treats post-traumatic stress.
Mike, you host "Dirty Jobs." I guess this is a good example of the result of dirty jobs, isn't it?
MIKE ROWE, HAS VISITED MINES: This is the mother of all dirty jobs. I can't even believe what I'm looking at. And thank you for bringing me in here because I think you were right before. There's landing on the moon. There's this. I mean, there's a pretty short list of events people aren't going to forget watching, and I think this is probably somewhere near the top.
KING: You were trapped in a cave for how long?
ROWE: Well, I was trapped for maybe 20 seconds. I was -- I was with these spelunkers in Horse Cave (ph), Kentucky, and we were essentially mapping the underground area of that state and we were going into an area where no one had been. And the passageway got smaller and smaller and smaller, and I suddenly found myself face down in the mud with about half a mile of granite over top of me.
And the point being, for the first 10 seconds, I thought, Well, OK, this is bad, I'm stuck. And then in the next five seconds, I completely panicked. And I can't -- maybe 10 seconds after that, they finally unstuck me. But for the last 2-and-a-half months, every time I turn on the TV, I look at these guys and I just think, How is it possible to maintain your sanity for what is it, 80 days or so, in a situation like that? I'm just in awe of these guys.
KING: Dr. Sophy, what will be the effects? There will be post- traumatic stress, will there not?
DR. CHARLES SOPHY, LA COUNTY DEPT. OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES: Yes, there's got to be some kind of sequellae that comes out of this. And I think what we really need to do is get them up, get them connected back with their families, and then kind of let the dust settle, make sure they're medically OK because you want to make sure, you know, from the standpoint they weren't down there without their medications, all that kind of stuff, and then see what emerges because something has to emerge. You can't be trapped like that without having, as Mike said, some emotion.
You're anxious, you're scared, you're depressed. Are you sleeping? Your circadian rhythms, the dark and the light. So you got to see how it plays out, and then you start diagnosing and treating.
KING: Psychiatrically, the worst fear is what?
SOPHY: Well, the worst is, you know, post-traumatic stress disorder at its worst, where it's not able to be controlled or treated. But most of the time -- I think, as a group, they've shown us a lot of strength. They've given the world a lot of strength and a lot of hope. And I think we all need that at this point. And I think...
KING: We've learned a lot about bonding.
KING: Let's hop to New York now. This is unusual. Adriana Hauser is with us. She's a CNN Espanol correspondent. She's at the Pomer (ph) restaurant. That's a popular Chilean restaurant on West 46th Street in Manhattan. It's well after midnight there. What, a lot of people there now, Adriana?
ADRIANA HAUSER, CNN EDUCATION ESPANOL CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Good evening, Larry. Well, the place has actually emptied out a bit. It seems all 8,000 Chileans who lived in New York state were here. It seemed like it. It wasn't, of course. But it seemed like it at the moment of the rescue. They were all cheering. They were all clapping, a lot of energy, a lot of excitement.
And it almost seemed like they were here to see that first rescue with their own eyes, and then slowly made their way out. Let's remember it's Tuesday. It's the middle of the work week, and a lot of people changed their routines to be here tonight. We have two people with us. We have two young men, one American, one Chilean here. And we're going to start with Kyle (ph). Kyle, thank you for being with us tonight. I understand you actually visited the San Jose mine, that's correct?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct. I have been in that mine personally myself. Yes.
HAUSER: And how -- can you tell us what it looked like? And can you imagine someone being trapped for over two months?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The possibility of being trapped underground in a mine like that, just being in any cave you've ever imagined, the worst possible conditions that you can imagine, being underground like that is just -- it's unimaginable. The -- absolutely unimaginable.
HAUSER: What makes you feel now that you know that two of the miners are out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, the world help that they've had here, and bringing everyone together and Chile being able to come together as a country and pulling everyone out -- it's just -- it's just fantastic.
HAUSER: And here with us is also Christian (ph). Christian is actually Chilean, has been in New York for 16 years. Christian, thank you for being with us. What does this occasion make you feel, now that the two miners are out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, thank you very much. It just makes me feel that it wasn't just an event for Chile, it was an event for the whole world and brought a lot of countries and people together, especially miners who are here in the States and Australia have (ph) difficulties being trapped underground for days. I think it's a great example of the miners (INAUDIBLE) for about, what 17, 18 days worked together and pulled through.
HAUSER: Worth for you staying up this late?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely. Absolutely.
HAUSER: Thank you so much. Larry, the Chilean consul was here earlier tonight. The Bolivian consul was also here tonight. There's been tons of signs of solidarity. There's a dedication book going around. There's been all these yellow helmets that I don't know if you can see behind me. There's yellow helmets like hardhats, like the ones miners would wear. They have the number 33 for the 33 miners. They have the name Esperanza for the name of the camp there. And everyone here is very excited, and every miner that reaches the surface gives these people here another reason to stay up late -- Larry.
KING: Thank you. Good reporting. Adriana Hauser, CNN Espanol. Mike Rowe and Dr. Sophy will remain with us. You stay with us, too. We'll be back with more on this historic rescue of the Chilean miners right after this.
KING: We're back with Mike Rowe and Dr. Charles Sophy. They'll remain with us throughout. Joining us on the phone is Stanley Stewart. Stanley's a miner who survived the explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia April 5th of this year. Twenty-nine miners were killed in that disaster. That's the worst mining accident in the United States in four decades.
Stanley, what goes through your mind as you watch this tonight?
STANLEY STEWART, SURVIVED UPPER BIG BRANCH MINE EXPLOSION (VIA TELEPHONE): Well, Larry, a flood of emotions. I think everyone knows, as a coal miner, it doesn't matter where a coal miner is hurt, trapped or killed, a piece of another coal miner's heart goes out to him because we know what we have to deal with in there every day.
And when this first happened, it was bleak and almost seemed hopeless. And for these drillers to come from all over the world and do what they did and looks like it's going to be a miraculous ending -- I'm just -- I'm just flooded with emotion and tickled to death.
KING: As a miner, can you explain how well those 33 bonded together for this period of time?
STEWART: Yes. I think -- I think them guys banded together because of the camaraderie among miners. They have a sense of humor. They make the best of the worst situations. And when they realized that there was help coming, I think they came together better.
And I know they can't wait to see the light of day because I've worked for sometimes two and three weeks at a time and not seen the light of day, and it would bother me mentally. And when I would finally get to see the sun, I would just stand and stare at it, Larry. You know, it's hard to explain, but the coal miner appreciates the outside world much better.
KING: Mike Rowe, I know you're around some people who do odd things or different kind of jobs, but there seems, Mike, to be nothing like the miner.
ROWE: There is nothing like the miner. And there's nothing like the mining industry. If you think about it -- I can't think of a single industry that doesn't depend up mining and miners. It's the oldest industry, even older than agriculture, I think. Everything we need, we pull from the ground, from the desk I'm sitting in front of, to the camera I'm looking into. And it's just an extraordinary sort of disconnect when you really consider the contributions guys like Stanley make.
And look, I've been in copper mines and coal mines, bituminous, anthracite. I've been in salt mines. And I hear the same thing when I talk to these guys over and over and over again. They know what their contribution is to civilized life, but so many of us don't. When we turn the light switch on and the lights come on, you know, that's because somebody somewhere is burning coal that's turning -- that's creating steam and turning a turbine, you know? And we just don't think of it that way.
But after 300 dirty jobs or so and a chance to meet a lot of guys like Stanley, there's no in my mind they are among the most underappreciated group of workers on the face of the earth and sometimes -- oftentimes below the surface. And we'd be well advised, I think, to have a better understanding of what it is they do day in and day out.
KING: Dr. Sophy, what kind of person are these 33, and Stanley Stewart, who's on the phone with us? What kind of person is this?
SOPHY: Psychologically, they're strong people. You know, this is a job that takes them and disconnects them from the world.
SOPHY: And they do that on a daily basis. So you've got to be really strong and have a good foundation to begin to even want to do that kind of job and then to be able to tolerate it and handle it day after day. So, they're strong people. They're strong, they have a good constitution. Their mental wellbeing already hopefully on a good solid...
KING: Where does that come from?
SOPHY: Well, probably from good parenting, good upbringing, knowing the job. Practicing at it but really, it starts as a kid. Where you're really in a solid home, you're in solid parenting and you're a good person and you don't have fears and anxiety that are going to stir up when you are cut off from the world. As I think Mike was saying, and Stanley was saying. You get in and the first few minutes, it's like OK and then all of a sudden it settles in and the anxiety starts to bubble. And if you don't have that ability and the apparatus inside yourself and the tools to be able to keep it at bay, you're going to break.
KING: Stanley, did you think you would lose your life?
STEWART: Yes, Larry. I felt that way on many different occasions. And the April 5 explosion was the second one that I walked away from. But, you know, that's our job and, so...
KING: Why'd you go back?
STEWART: Excuse me?
KING: Why would you go back?
STEWART: At this particular time, Larry, I don't believe I can go back again. I'm having my problems and I don't want to give it a third chance.
KING: That's not surprising, is it, Dr. So?
SOPHY: Not at all. After a certain point, your constitution breaks, you get some clarity and you don't want to push your luck, either, and you've got to get yourself under control. I mean, some of the symptoms can be so overwhelming. Maybe Stanley knows from his own experience, sleeping, all that stuff that's disturb and not enough to want to go back in.
KING: These 33, Stanley, are going to have some problems, aren't they?
STEWART: I think they will for a while, Larry. They'll have to get used to it. I mean, they've been in there a long time. It's going to be like coming back out into a new world. Because working underground, it is a different world, you know? No one could understand it unless they were there. But, you go in. You come out every day. They've been there since August, so they're going to have some readjusting to do.
KING: Stanley, this is a lot of Stanley Stewart who survived that Upper Big Branch mine that 29 miners were killed. Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" that returns to discovery on Tuesday the 19th, will stay with us, so will psychiatrist Dr. Charlie Sophy, Dr. Julian Bales will return. We'll go back to the mines, as well. Don't go away, the rescue of the third miner is coming up.
KING: Mike Rowe and Dr. Charles Sophie remain. Dr. Julian Bales, chairman of the department of neurosurgery at the University of West Virginia remains. And we take you back to the scene and show it to you, as seen in Chile at that San Jose mine. The capsule is going down to pick up the third miner. And as Greg Christianson, one of our key producers here at CNN just said to me, it is a little mind- boggling, isn't it?
Mike, we'll start with you. We're all the way here. We're in Los Angeles, you're in San Francisco. Dr. Bales is in West Virginia and we're seeing the scene below the earth from Chile.
ROWE: Yeah. I think mind-boggling is exactly the right way to put it. I mean, it's just, we're just looking around here in the control room and everybody is kind of shrugging their shoulders as if to say, you know, I can't even believe we're watching this.
But, the thing that occurred to me, and I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth, but I can't get over the fact that everyday these guys do what they do. But it's not until you have a Sago, it's not until you have some kind of calamity, it seems, where all of a sudden, it's like some giant cosmic tap on the shoulder where the whole world goes, oh, yeah, right, yeah, these guys are basically holding polite society together, let's see what happens.
I'm really wondering, you know, a week or two weeks from now or maybe a month if stories like this are going to somehow make it a little more likely for the rest of us go to be a little more mindful of the fact that, like we were discussing before, when we flicked the switch and the lights come on. It is not magic. It's guys like this, somewhere underground getting dirty and doing this right.
KING: Well put. Would you comment on that, Dr. Bales?
BALES: Well, I agree. I agree. I think Mike is absolutely right. I think the world is witnessing an epic struggle of these miners and we're reminded, as we were with the Sago mine, with the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, what can happen and what debt we owe these miners every time we flick the switch and live our lifestyle. So, I think from my pointed of view, we're fascinated also to see what, if any, medical consequences come from this prolonged exposure.
KING: Dr. Sophy, you'd you agree, right?
SOPHY: Yeah, I would agree.
KING: We don't know, know, do we?
SOPHY: No. We don't know. But, I think it is important to see that they brought people together across the world in a commonality of people being human and carrying about each other and I think that it's a great thing that they've been able to bring to us through this calamity.
KING: To quote a now famous quote, Mike, "Why can't we all just get along?"
ROWE: Well, because, it is more interesting, I think, sometimes to make trouble, you know? And I can tell that you in terms of dirty jobs, whether it's miners or commercial fishermen, farmers, skilled tradesmen, you don't have to look far to find that there's also a group of people who have -- it just seems, you know, like in the last 20 or 30 years who have been weirdly forgotten about, somewhat marginalized. But, the great irony, of course, is without them doing what they do, what are we? Who are we? And until we see something like this, you know, it is as if the rest us learn the same lessons over and over and over and over again. And every miner I've ever talked to this about just confirms that for me. They nod and they smile and they know who's getting the work done. And the rest of us, we forget.
KING: You're watching a live shot now, waiting for the arrival of the capsule that will bring up the third miner. Juan Illanes Palma. The first was Florencio Antonio Avalos Silva, a cameraman. He's became a cameraman during the isolation filming videos of the miners to be sent up to the rescuers and to the relatives. His brother, Renan Silva, is also trapped in that mine.
The second one that we saw come up was Mario Sepulveda. He is 40 years old, spokesman and video narrator. He assumed the role of spokesman for the miners, appearing on camera and he narrated many of the videos that were sent to the surface. Now the next gentleman we'll see is Juan Illanes, he's 52 years old, electrical mechanic. He served as a corporal for Chile in their conflicts against Argentina. And he has reported, as well, for the BBC. He will be No. 3 coming up as soon as that capsule arrives. He enters the capsule, then it takes a little above 15 minutes to come up. There will be 33, and of course, people going down to help them come up, as well. I think 38 people in all will wind up coming to the surface. And it could take up to 48 years old.
We'll check in with our correspondents from Chile, right after this.
So, what we will do now is watch them load Juan Illanes Palma into that capsule. I guess they're getting pretty good at this now, Mike.
ROWE: Well, you know what? I mean, it's not the kind of thing where there's a ton of margin for error, obviously, but yeah, the first couple, you got to hold your breath and man, the last two or three. I still don't fully understand how they went through the whole protocol of who goes when, but I was imagining just the most intense and competitive game of Rochambeau in the history of Rochambeau, you know, but...
KING: How would you have conducted it, Dr. Bales? Would you pull out little notes and you pull out a number?
BALES: I don't know. That's a good question. Apparently, you know, there were some, there was a hierarchy and some felt the responsibility to be last, wanted to be last. So, I don't know. I'm sure it was very well thought through.
KING: Someone said, Dr. Sophy, that the last one up will write the book. They'll all get book offers, I guess, and magazine offers and the like, but the guy who writes the book, he is the last man below. He'll make them idle, already: Last man below. It is a commercial world, is it not?
Mike, it is a commercial world. Well, you're going to have one of these guys on "Dirty Jobs," aren't you?
ROWE: You know what? I'll make a standing offer, right now. In fact, I would be thrilled to go over there and meet them personally. I'll brush up on my Spanish. Maybe you can help me, actually. You're doing a heck of a job this evening, Larry.
KING: I've got it phonetically spelled out for me. I'm not too good with language. I can't see too well.
Who's a good shot of this? Are they loading Juan in now? I can't tell because there are some people blocking the screen. Can anyone help me? Is Juan getting in? We'll get to have prep the capsule. Whatever that means. How do you prep a capsule?
KING: I'm just letting this run. Anyone can comment. Dr. Bales, Mark (SIC) Rowe, Dr. Charles Sophy.
SOPHY: I think that one of the thing that up earlier, how would you know who to come up. Hopefully if somebody had a medical problem or an urgent need, they would be the first. So, maybe that's the way they did it.
ROWE: Although from what I heard, Larry, they sent some of the stronger guys up first, I think, not being 100 percent certain if the thing would function perfectly. They didn't want somebody who was in a really weakened state to somehow be stranded somewhere between the top and the bottom.
KING: Good point.
ROWE: But, just guessing.
KING: I'll tell you what. We'll take a break here. Come back. If they're in the process of loading, we'll break from the breaks and cut in. We'll be right back.
KING: As they're getting ready to put Juan Illanes Palma into the capsule, he'll be the third miner third coming up. We're going to check in with Karl Penhaul at the near the San Jose. There is a Spanish journalist, right here, who's also talking so we hope we can hear Karl clearly. Karl, what's the latest from where you are?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) and as each miner go down, each miner come back up, there are cheers...
KING: I'm sorry, Karl. What is happening is Karl. All right, we have to kill that. Karl is in a congested area, and there's also another Spanish correspondent, but be right next to him, reporting for another outlet and there are conflicting sounds and it wasn't clear to hear. So we're with Dr. Julian Bales, Mike Rowe and Doctor Charles Sophy. And Dr. Sophy mentioned something interesting to me, we should discuss. What about the families, psychologically.
SOPHY: I mean, we've got to remember these are people that were up on the top, yes they had access to told they were breathing, they have each other, but they're also traumatized, so we have to really make sure we attention, not the attention to them, after they get reunited to see what part and what role they'll play in treatment. They may need treatment, themselves. To rebond or to go through it. a lot of small children had to deal with the fact that wouldn't see their parents again so those kinds of things have to be taken into account.
KING: I'm sorry Karl, what is happening is Karl is. All right, we have to kill that. Karl is in a congested area and there is obviously another Spanish correspondent, must be right next to him reporting for another outlet. And they're conflicting sounds and it wasn't clear to hear. So, we're with Dr. Julian Bales, Mike Rowe, and Dr. Charles Sophie. And
Dr. Sophy mentioned something interesting to me, we should discuss. What about the families psychologically?
SOPHY: I mean, got to remember, these were people up on the top. Yes, they had access to the world they were breathing, they had each other, but they're also traumatized and so we have to really make sure we pay enough attention to them after they get reunited to see what role they'll play in treatment. They may need treatment themselves to rebond or to go with a lot of small children had to deal with the fact that maybe they wouldn't see their parents again. So, those kinds of things have to be taken into account.
KING: is it true that sometime in areas of separation, families break?
SOPHY: Absolutely. Well, because they were weak to begin with, probably and there were already cracks in the foundations', and so these are is an excuse now. Sometime they were not strong enough to begin with.
KING: Dr. Bales, do you agree that families will need attention?
BALES: Oh, absolutely. I think that will be a big, big part of them as they reunite. So, it's going to be the brain readjusting, not only on the sunlight issue, the issues of the other medical aspects but also the psychological point of view for both. Absolutely.
KING: Mike, you work around people as we say in "Dirty Jobs," a lot. How do you explain to yourself based on the curiosity way we saw these, how well these 33 seemed to get along?
ROWE: You know, I've never, of course, been any kind of situation close to this. But I would think it is a combination of necessity and practicality. You know, I was just reading the Stephen King book, actually, called "Under the Dome." It has been out for a while. About this town in Maine that is caught under this crazy sort of see-through impenetrable dome and what happens to them in this town. The world can't get to them and they're force essentially to come to terms with themselves and with each other. And basically start over.
And as this whole thing was unfolding, for me, the most, you know, heartrending fascinating where those first 17 days or so, when these guys didn't caught under this crazy sort of see-through impenetrable dome. And what happens to them in this town. The world can't get to them and they're force essentially to come to term with themselves and with each other. And basically start over. And as this whole thing was unfolding for me, the most heart reentering, fascinating part were those first 17 days or so when they didn't know anyone knew they were alive. And no one on the outside knew that they were alive. What sorts of conversations must they have been having about how their society was going to work and if somehow they were lucky enough to get food, I mean, what was it going to be like? I just can't even imagine how that conversation must have played out.
KING: By the way, there, you see the spinning wheel on top and there begins the ascension of the capsule. And that capsule is carrying Juan Illanes Palma, he is 52-years-old. Electrical mechanic. He served as a corporal for Chile in Chile's conflict against Argentina.
There's the wheel that turns the capsule that brings the capsule up. It takes about 15 minutes. So it will arrive approximately five minutes after the hour of -- it will be 1:00 in the East and 2:00 a.m. in Chile and at that time, CNN International will be taking over.
I wonder, this is a pure -- what is going through, what would you guess, Dr. Sophy, is going through Juan's mind now?
SOPHY: Probably feeling a little bit anxious about leaving his friends down there.
SOPHY: I'm sure they probably -- you know, they've bonded tight. There was no room for games down there.
KING: But he's going to see his family in 14 minutes.
SOPHY: That's the conflict. You know, you're leaving one family you've just made and you're going to your other family. So yes, it is a begin but it is a lot of conflict. I'm sure it will override the joy to be with his family.
KING: Well, call Karl Penhaul has, we understand, has another Mike and we'll be able to hear him clearly. Call, the third, Juan Palma is on his way up. What can you tell us from your viewpoint there near the mine?
PENHAUL: Yeah, as you say, Juan Illanes is on his way up. And I'm going to just tell you on the counter there, well, he has done about 300 feet so far, so still got a ways to go. That will probably take him a good ten more minutes to come up. But here at "Camp Hope," this tent village of where the families have been camping out, awaiting for news of each and every miner since this disaster began. And as each miner has come to the surface, there has been pure joy. Pure joy followed by hugs, by tears. Tears of joy, but also a release of the stress the anxiety that they have been clearly feeling throughout the day as the moments tick down to this final rescue.
At one point, our relative and family members broke out into a rendition of the national anthem, as well. and of course, when the second miner Mario Sepulveda came up, there were a lot of laughs, too. Because Mario Sepulveda, we became very familiar with him in the course of the disaster, because he was the miner that tendered to narrate the video that's the miners sent from the mine back up to the surface. And he was a joker as well. He kept the miners in high spirits on those videos, cracking jokes with every miner. And as s he came up in the Phoenix 2 rescue capsule, he still had one more joke in store.
Because Larry, aboard that Phoenix 2 capsule, he had smuggled a bag of rocks. And as he came out of the Phoenix capsule, he hugged the president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera. He hugged the mines minister, Lawrence Golborne, and the next thing he did was produce a rock for the top officials of the state. He handed the president a gray rock from the collapsed mine. He handed the mines minister a gray rock from the collapsed mine. A joke somewhat ironic to, hen then turned and he hugged his wife, Elvira. Pinera, an accountant from He then turned and hugged his wife Elvira. Elvira, an accountant from the city, the capital city of Santiago, that stood by her man throughout this crisis. In fact, she refused to give up her job. And u Instead, brought her accountancy books up to the mine and continued to fill out tax receipts. Tax reports for her clients while she was waiting for news of her husband. And tonight, they were reunited.
And after he had given his wife a hug, he then went to the rescue workers. The rescue workers who have been drilling. Who have been looking. Who have been searching, who have been refusing to give up on these miners for 69 days now. These miners are very grateful to more than 1,000 rescue workers who have been involved in this operation. And he ran over to them. He started to hug them. He shook hands with them. And he led them in a chant that he has also been leading the miners down in the hole in the same chant. A chance of Chile. And he chants and he pumps his fist in the air and he leads that chant of Chile among the rescue workers. He brought his humor to the surface and he brought that chant back to the surface. And right now, he is in the clinic being checked over by medics to make sure he is okay. And then again he will be led into a room where he can meet with also with his daughter and young son as well, Larry.
KING: Thank you, Karl. Great job of reporting. Karl Penhaul, what terrific journalists we've had on this scene. Let's get another quick word in from Patrick Oppmann, our CNN platform journalist who has been witnessing this and will continue on through the rest. CNN International will be taking over in about four minutes. Let's get another quick comment from Patrick before we have a final comment from our panel. Patrick, what do you make of all this? Patrick unfortunately is not hearing us. We only have a few minutes left. Will he check back in with the panel.
Dr. Bales? We've never seen anything like this. There will be lots of talk about it in the days ahead. Let's hope that it is not soon forgotten. There is that danger, is there not? In a 24-hour news world?
BALES: There absolutely is and we hope not, we hope we learn from it. Also I think we were encouraged that medically, I think they look in great shape. And I think they're serving the ascent. And congratulations to all of these designed the technology and pulled this off.
KING: Yeah, Dr. Sophy this was amazing stuff, here.
SOPHY: Unbelievably amazing. And I think we as a world should embrace these wonderful feelings and the ability to pull together as people, as humans, at basic levels, to be able to miss each other, work as a team for each other and survive.
KING: And I think we can get a word in now from Mr. Oppmann, who is on the scene and had been throughout. Patrick, we have about a minute, want to give us a little windup before we go to CNNi, you'll be reporting for them, as well.
OPPMANN: Absolutely, Larry. It's already almost 2:00 a.m. in the china (PH) and just look at the people who are still out here, still several hundred people out, people coming and going. Sill lots of people here, behind me. People with flags, people with banners. They will be here all night, Larry. They will be watching as each miner is pulled up, as their miners are brought to the surface, Larry.
KING: Thank you, great job. And they'll continue to do a great job around the clock as they always do here at CNN. That's CNNi.
Mike, what a night, huh?
ROWE: Unbelievable. And I just have to tell you, what made that last piece of reporting so interesting, for me, was something we always forget about with people with "Dirty Jobs," and people that really work the way that these guys work, is humor. That guy brought up what are now going to be half a dozen of the most famous paperweights since the moon rock came back. And he was smiling and I'm sure, you know, and I wish I would have answered your earlier question better with this response, because I'm sure what really went on down there, from time to time, over the course of these last couple of months, was real humor. You just can't underestimate the importance of having that on the jobsite. We expect to see drudgery and when we find humor, well, at the risk of sounding a little too earnest, we find hope.
KING: Yeah, the men under pressure there was humor in the Holocaust. You were in prison.
ROWE: It's strength. It's strength.
KING: People brought together in circumstances.
ROWE: Absolutely, it's all strength.
KING: Dr. Bales, from the way we look, so far, I think we're going to have some pretty good recoveries, here, aren't we?
BALES: It sure looks that way. I'm very encouraged by the condition as see them, not only physically, but psychologically, as we've been mentioning, including the humor.
KING: And Mike Rowe, you're final comment before we turn it over to CNNi?
ROWE: Oh look, I would just say that you know, reality TV is what it is and sometimes the whole country gets obsessed with whatever's being produced. Moments like this, you know, I'm sitting here and I'm looking at it and I'm realizing, whatever it is we call reality that passes for TV is nonsense comprised to what really is happening, right in front of us. Thank you for having me in here. I've -- I'll never forget it.
KING; Thank you, Mike, neither will we.
What a night. What an event. And remember as we started to second edition of LARRY KING LIVE, we have all, folks, witnessed something that has never been witnessed before.
We'll be back at our regular hour tomorrow night. Michael Moore will be our guest following the Delaware debate. George Clooney will be here on Thursday. Willie Nelson on Friday. Two have been rescued, the third expected to reach the surface within the next six minutes. Stay tuned for continuing coverage of this historic story, right here on CNN.