COPIAPO, Chile, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Rescuers in Chile hoisted the 18th miner to the surface Wednesday, 15 hours into the rescue of 33 men trapped for months more than 2,000-feet underground.

After rescuers performed maintenance on the capsule, Esteban Rojas, a carrier pigeon handler who was testing air quality in the mine, reached the surface, leaving 15 comrades and five rescuers inside the mine in remote western Chile.

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Chilean miner Florencio Avalos, the first of 33 trapped miners to be rescued, hugs President Sebastian Pinera and his sonat the surface of the San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile just after midnight October 13, 2010. An accident trapped 33 miners for more than two months more than 2,000 feet below the surface. UPI/Chilean Government/HO
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