Chilean mines recovery a tremendous inspirational story: Obama

The ongoing Chilean mine rescue is a tremendous inspirational story, US President Barack Obama has said.

Updated: Oct 14, 2010, 12:03 PM IST

Washington: The ongoing Chilean mine
rescue is a tremendous inspirational story, US President Barack Obama has said.

The President himself watched live the great human
rescue operation going on in Chile.

"This is obviously something that`s captivated the
world`s attention and this rescue is a tribute not only to the
determination of the rescue workers and the Chilean
government, but also the unity and resolve of the Chilean
people who have inspired the world," Obama told reporters at
the White House as the rescue operation continued in Chile.

"I want to express the hopes of the American people
that the miners who are still trapped underground will be
returned home safely as soon as possible," he said.

"Last night, the whole world watched the scene at Camp
Esperanza as the first miner was lifted out from under more
than 2,000 feet of rock and then embraced by his young son and
family. And the tears they shed -? after so much time apart -?
expressed not only their own relief, not only their own joy,
but the joy of people everywhere," Obama said, adding it was a
thrilling moment and we`re hopeful that those celebrations
duplicate themselves throughout the rest of today.

The President said let me also commend so many people
of goodwill, not only in Chile, but also from US and around
the world, who are lending a hand in this rescue effort.

"The NASA team that helped design the escape vehicle,
to American companies that manufactured and delivered parts of
the rescue drill, to the American engineer who flew in from
Afghanistan to operate the drill," Obama said.

Earlier, White House Press Secretary Robert Gates had
said Obama watched the rescue operation live.

"I talked to him (Obama) about this, this morning. He
was watching last night. I asked him what he was thinking
about when he watched it. He said obviously this was a
tremendously inspirational story, a story with a happy ending," Gibbs told reporters.
"As a parent, to watch a miner`s son waiting for him
to come out of a mine that he`d been trapped in for almost 70
days, when people for a long time thought they might be lost,
was tremendously inspirational," Gibbs said when asked about Obama`s reaction to the rescue operation.
"The President is enormously proud of their efforts,
of the efforts of the government of Chile, and hopefully will
be in contact with some of the CEOs of those companies and the
government shortly," Gibbs said.

The White House Press Secretary said Obama would be
talking to the Chilean President soon on this.

PTI