Trapped Chilean miners filmed singing national anthem

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The Independent US

The first video released of the 33 men trapped deep in a Chilean copper mine shows the men stripped to the waist and appearing slim but healthy, arm-in-arm, singing the national anthem and yelling "long live Chile, and long live the miners!".

About five minutes of what is reportedly a 45-minute video was 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 displays the way they have organised the living room-sized shelter where they took refuge after a landslide trapped them August 5. They also showed off areas outside the shelter where they can walk around.



One miner gives a guided tour through the ample space where the men have plenty of room to stand and lie down. He shows where the men meet and pray daily and points out the "little cup to brush our teeth".



"We have everything organised," he says.



The few items they have are carefully laid out: a first aid cabinet, shelves holding unidentified bottles, mats in a corner for rest.



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 every day," he adds. "We plan, we have assemblies here every day so that all the decisions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33."



The camera 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 awakened.



"Greetings to my family. Get us out of here soon, please," says one unidentified man.



At one point the footage shows a close-up of a thermometer reading 29.5C.



Another man displays what psychiatrists have said is a key trait to keeping the men motivated and optimistic - a sense that they have a role in their own destinies.



"There are a large number of professionals who are going to help in the rescue efforts from down here," the man says.



What the men may not know is that the mining company that hired them is doing nothing to join them in a rescue. The San Esteban company says it can't afford to pay their wages and may go bankrupt.



San Esteban is in such bad shape that it has neither the equipment nor the money to rescue the men. Chile's state-owned mining company is going to drill the escape tunnel, which will cost about 1.7 million US dollars (£1.1 million).



In the days after the tunnel collapse at the gold and copper mine, company leaders defended their safety measures, but have since gone quiet and attempts to reach anyone at San Esteban were not successful.



Earlier this week, lawyers for the small mining company said that with the mine shut down, and no income coming in, the company is at a high risk of bankruptcy.

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