Chilean miners' rescue capsule on show in London

February 10, 2012

The capsule used to rescue Chilean miners trapped underground for two months goes on display Saturday at the Science Museum in London -- the first time it has been seen in Europe.

Fenix 2 was specially built for the rescue mission and brought out every one of the 33 whose survival story captivated the globe.

A cave-in trapped the men deep inside the San Jose mine in northern Chile's August 5, 2010.

The world's attention was riveted on them and their battle to survive against the odds, until their rescue on October 14, when they were hauled back to the surface one by one in a complex operation.

"We're honoured to display the Chilean rescue capsule at the -- it's an icon of the unprecedented of the 33 miners," said Katrina Nilsson, the museum's contemporary science manager.

"I'm sure we can all remember the moment when the first miner was pulled to the surface after being trapped for almost 10 weeks.

"By showing the capsule at the museum, we hope to draw attention to the technical and engineering challenges that the rescue team tackled during this extraordinary operation."

The 3.9-metre-tall (13 feet) capsule is made of steel and measures 54 centimetres (21 inches) wide.

Fenix 2 will be on display in London until May 13.

Explore further: Wireless mine-rescue system tested in U.S.

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