First video of trapped miners is released
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.
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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