Chile's rescued miners: one year on

On 5th August 2010, a cave-in at this Chilean mine trapped 33 men working deep below the surface.

By REUTERS
August 5, 2011 10:27
1 minute read.
Surrounded by policemen, Chile's Mining Minister L

Chile Mine Rescue. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

On 5th August 2010, a cave-in at this Chilean mine trapped 33 men working deep below the surface.

Their dramatic rescue more than two months later was watched by TV audiences around the globe.

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But a year after their emergence into the worldwide limelight, the miners say their lives have changed forever - but not for the better.

Some now sell fruit and vegetables at street markets to make a living, others have been forced to return to mining because they can do nothing else.

And they say compensation they were promised has never materialized.

For 69 days the miners struggled for survival in the dark, hot, humid shaft just hoping they would get out alive.

They were hauled out one by one in a narrow capsule through a hole painstakingly bored through the rock and earth above them.

The price both emotionally and psychologically has been high.

Some still suffer insomnia and nightmares.

The miners are hoping the government will offer them a special lifetime pension because of their ordeal.

They're also suing the state for negligence for allowing the notoriously dangerous mine, that so dramatically and suddenly changed their lives, to operate at all.


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