Chile Miners: Trapped Chilean Miners Still Alive After 17 Days
33 Chilean Miners Found Alive After 17 Days: Rescue Could Take Months
Thirty-three miners in Chile were finally able to communicate with the outside world after 17 days of being trapped in a collapsed copper mine in Chile's far north.
The miners attached notes and letters to a drill head that managed to reach their location 700 meters ( 2300 feet) below the surface of the earth.
Rescue workers now plan to use the bore hole to send plastic tubes containing glucose, hydration gels and food down to the miners to keep them alive while they dig a new shaft to extract them -- which could take up to four months.
"The wait is very different now," said Elias Barros, 57, whose brother is among those trapped. "It is a wait free of anguish. This isn't over but we are much more hopeful it will end happily."
Grateful relatives were relieved to hear from their loved ones while it is expected the communication channel will give a boost to the trapped miners.
The eldest of the miners, 63-year-old Mario Gomez, sent up a letter to his wife in which he said he was sure the miners would survive.
"Dear Liliana, I'm well, thank God. I hope to get out soon. Have patience and faith," the letter said.
"I haven't stopped thinking about all of you for a single moment."
The mining accident has sparked criticism about the safety conditions in Chile's mines.Even the trapped miners have reinforced those safety concerns in their letters to the outside world.
It is unclear exactly how long it will take to rescue the trapped Chilean miners but it will at least take several months.