Local man from Chile shares his thoughts about mine rescue

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The historic mine rescue has touched the hearts of people around the world including one Richmond man with ties to Chile.

Carlos Morales lived in Chile for 23 years. He used to bus workers to and from the mines including the one now in the spotlight. In between his two jobs in Henrico County, Morales, watched with the rest of the world as the 33 trapped miners ascended into the arms of loved ones.

NBC12 staff member, Danielle Wilson, translated our interview.

"He's very happy about everything," said Wilson.

Happy, Morales says, not only for a successful rescue, but also for the global exposure of a dangerous industry.

"It's putting the owners making them accountable for the dangers in the mines. They're finally bringing attention to what's going on there," said Morales.

16 years ago, Morales moved to the United States from Santiago, Chile. He doesn't know the rescued miners, but used to drive other miners to and from their jobs including the San Jose gold and copper mine.

"It's a very dangerous mine because it's old and hasn't been up kept," said Morales.

But for these men, freedom at last. An exhibit at the Virginia Science Museum gives an idea of what the miners had to work with.

All of the supplies that went down to the miners could be no bigger than the size of a water bottle and the exhibit shows the amount of living space each of the miners has had.

Morales says his family in Chile is no doubt celebrating the rescuers who worked tirelessly to bring the men back home alive.

"They're doing their part in the world especially the United States. It's very good," said Morales.

Morales said he moved to America for a chance at a better life. He has a hard working family including a 33-year-old son who's a pilot and 17-year-old daughter who works three jobs.

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