Trapped Miners in Chile Told Their Rescue Could be Months: Video
Officials are Concerned About Depression Among the Trapped Miners in Chile After They Were Told Their Rescue Could Take Months
They reacted calmly to the news that they might be trapped down the San Jose mine in Copiapo for many more months, but officials are worried the 33 miners may get depressed. They have been trapped since August 5 700 metres below ground.
They have been given an exercise programme and some have made requests for material to keep them entertained, but it is important that they stay in shape so they can be pulled up the 66cm wide hole that will be drilled for them. It is estimated that the drilling will take four months to complete.
"We were able to tell them... they would not be rescued before the Fiestas Patrias [Chile's Independence Day on 18 September], and that we hoped to get them out before Christmas," AFP quoted Mr Manalich as saying.
The miners have had some contact with the outside world, and have pleaded with president Sebastian Pinera to save them from this 'hell'.
We are waiting for all of Chile to do everything to get us out of this hell," group leader Luis Urzua said.
In the intercom conversation, Mr Urzua urged rescuers to hurry.
"Mr president, we need you to be strong and to rescue us as soon as possible. Don't abandon us," he said.
The president assured them that they will not be abandoned.
The miners have been told to help each other simulate day and night, even though they only have about two kilometres of space to walk around in. They also need to help entertain each other and to keep each others' spirits up.
NASA has even been called upon for their expertise in keeping astronauts alive on long missions in space.
The miners range in age from 19 to 63 and will now start receiving antidepressants as part of their daily care package.