Trapped Chilean miners are offered new jobs

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The Independent US

Chile's 33 trapped miners have something good to think about: their next jobs. Here's a couple they might find particularly useful: "risk-reduction specialist" and "escape-tunnel driller".

Two dozen companies with operations in Chile have made more than 1,000 job offers to the trapped miners and their 317 co-workers at a job fair this week. Even if they choose to go back to mining, the work won't necessarily be underground and it will almost certainly be with a company with a better safety record than their struggling current employer.

The 33 miners have been trapped for more than 40 days in harrowing, sweltering conditions since a collapse on 5 August. No miners in history have been trapped so long, and it could be months before a hole large enough to get them out is completed. They are getting food, medicine, communications and other essentials through narrow holes dug by rescuers, but their anxiety has become evident, with more questions asked each time they hear the drilling stop.

Their relatives wait anxiously for the miners, many in tents at the mine itself. One of them, Ariel Ticona, became a father for the first time on Tuesday.

The San Esteban mining company, which owns the mine, has pursued bankruptcy protection since the collapse and has claimed it can't afford to pay the trapped miners, even though they'll have to work their way out by clearing rubble around the clock below the escape tunnels.

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