Trapped miners put in phone contact with families
Tuesday 31 August 2010
They barely had time to say "I love you", but after nearly four weeks apart, relatives of the 33 men who are trapped deep inside a Chilean mine have at last been given a chance to hear the sound of their loved ones' voices.
Families camped outside the collapsed mine in the Atacama Desert were each allowed to speak on the telephone with victims of the disaster late on Sunday. Since the connection on the long communication wire is precarious, conversations were limited to 30 seconds.
"There have been moments of great emotion," Ximena Matas, the governor of the Atacama region, said. "[They] listened with great interest and they both felt and realised that the men are well."
The conversations brought at least some reassurance that the men, who learnt last week that they could remain underground until Christmas, are in a sufficiently robust state of mind to survive for the next three months.
Recordings of some of the calls were made public, including one in which 44-year-old miner Esteban Rojas promised that he would marry Jessica Ganiez, his girlfriend of 25 years, upon his rescue from the collapsed tunnel.
A new video was also released showing the men talking about how they are doing better since receiving supplies of food and clothing down three small pipes which have been bored into the area where they are trapped, roughly half a mile below the surface.
They are topless, because of the stifling heat, and are wearing surgical trousers sent down to help to keep them dry and free from bacterial infections.
It could take up to four months to drill a 26in-wide hole from the surface to the chamber where the men are trapped.
- 1 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...