First video of trapped min­ers is re­leased

The Scotsman - - International - BradLEy BrOOKS, in COPi­APO, Chile

The first video was re­leased yes­ter­day of the 33 men trapped deep in a Chilean cop­per mine.

It shows the min­ers stripped to their waists and ap­par­ently healthy, stand­ing and sing­ing the na­tional an­them and shout­ing: “Long live Chile, and long live the min­ers!”

The im­ages seemed to bol­ster the spir­its of their fam­i­lies, camped out­side the mine in Chile’s Ata­cama desert., 500 miles north of the Chilean cap­i­tal San­ti­ago

Many were elated to see footage of their loved ones, and pleased they were in bet­ter health than they had feared.

“It’s en­tirely the op­po­site of what I thought!” said An­to­nio Bugueno, whose brother Car­los is trapped. “I thought he would look much worse. But he ap­peared strong of heart and mind.”

Only about five min­utes of a re­port­edly 45-minute video were re­leased by Tele­vi­sion Na­cional de Chile via the govern­ment. The men made the video with a small cam­era sent down through a small emer­gency shaft drilled to their emer­gency shel­ter deep in the San Jose mine.

The grainy, night-vi­sion im­ages show some men stand­ing, oth­ers ly­ing down and ap­par­ently just wak­ing up. One man proudly shows off how they have or­gan­ised the liv­ing room­sized space where they took refuge af­ter a land­slide trapped them on 5 Au­gust .

Res­cuers only es­tab­lished con­tact with them 17 days later by drilling a 6in-wide hole 2,257ft to their refuge. Res­cuers are

“All our de­ci­sions are based on the thoughts of the 33”

One of the trapped min­ers work­ing to drill an es­cape tun­nel that will be about 26in wide and could take weeks or months to com­plete.

The miner who shows off the refuge dis­plays where the men meet and pray daily and points out the “lit­tle cup to brush our teeth.” “We have ev­ery­thing or­gan­ised,” he says.

As the cam­era shows a ta­ble with domi­noes laid out, the tour guide says “this is where we en­ter­tain our­selves, where we play cards.” “We meet here ev­ery­day,” he adds. “We plan, we have as­sem­blies here ev­ery­day so that all the de­ci­sions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33.”

The cam­era used to make the video was sent down through a bore-hole used for com­mu­ni­ca­tions. An­other small hole that snakes down to the men’s shel­ter is used for low­er­ing food and a third pro­vides ven­ti­la­tion.

Many of the min­ers ap­peared in the video wear­ing their hard hats. As the cam­era pans to them, some flash peace signs, wave and smile. Oth­ers look groggy as if just wak­ened.

At one point the footage shows a close-up of a ther­mome­ter read­ing 29.5C. The min­ers have lost weight dur­ing the or­deal, and re­main so de­hy­drated that they need a gal­lon of liq­uid a day to com­pen­sate.

“With the clin­i­cal eval­u­a­tions we have been able to do thanks to our ‘med­i­cal agent’ down there, we have a pretty clear idea that they suf­fer from de­hy­dra­tion and have lost a lot of weight,” said health min­is­ter Jaime Manalich.

That “med­i­cal agent” is Jonny Berrios, who has used his train- ing as a para­medic to check up on his fel­low min­ers. One miner with di­a­betes has re­cu­per­ated, and oth­ers re­ceived med­i­ca­tion for skin ir­ri­ta­tion. “he’s go­ing to have a good ca­reer in medicine,” the min­is­ter said

Some min­ers who asked for cig­a­rettes are get­ting nico­tine gum. By early next week, a phone line will be es­tab­lished so they can talk to their fam­i­lies. By then, work should have be­gun on the es­cape tun­nel. A SOUTh African girl who sur­vived a hor­rific rape at­tack died with nine other peo­ple when a train hit a school van on Wed­nes­day.

Liesel Augis was six when raped, beaten un­con­scious with a brick and thrown into a fire by a fam­ily friend in 2006. But she lived and be­came known as Lit­tle Rock be­cause of her de­ter­mi­na­tion to sur­vive. IN­dIA has sus­pended de­fence ex­changes with China af­ter Bei­jing re­fused a visa to an In­dian gen­eral from Kash­mir.

Last year, In­dia protested against a Chi­nese em­bassy pol­icy of is­su­ing dif­fer­ent visas to res­i­dents of In­dian Kash­mir. New delhi bris­tles at any hint that Kash­mir, where a sep­a­ratist in­sur­gency is rag­ing, is not part of In­dia. A SO­MALI refugee has been jailed for nine years for try­ing to hi­jack an air­plane in 2008 – the first such at­tack in New Zealand.

Asha Ali Ab­dille, 36, ad­mit­ted try­ing to hi­jack a 19-seat air­craft on a do­mes­tic flight be­tween Blen­heim and Christchurch in Fe­bru­ary 2008. ChINA expressed “strong in­dig­na­tion” yes­ter­day af­ter the Philip­pine flag was placed on the cof­fin of a for­mer po­lice­man who took hong Kong tourists hostage and killed eight. It said those who “in­flict atroc­ity on in­no­cent lives” did not de­serve the hon­our. LANd­SLIdeS and floods trig­gered by heavy rains swept through a town in north­ern Turkey, killing at least 12 peo­ple, yes­ter­day.

The land­slide hit dozens of homes in Gun­dogdu, in the tea­grow­ing Black Sea prov­ince of Rize, said of­fi­cials.

Pic­ture: Getty Im­ages

Relatives out­side the mine, top left, view edited im­ages of the men, top, who look thin but in good spir­its, above left, with one, Pe­dro Cortez Con­tr­eras, flash­ing a vic­tory sign

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