Trapped Chilean miners ‘upbeat’ in video

The first footage released of the trapped miners shows them stripped to the waist and appearing slim but healthy…

Chilean authorities have released a new video of the 33 miners trapped half a mile underground in a copper mine, showing them singing the national anthem to keep their spirits up.

Broadcast on national television, the first footage released of the trapped miners shows them stripped to the waist and appearing slim but healthy.

About five minutes of what is reportedly a 45-minute video was shown by Television Nacional de Chile via the government. The workers made the video with a camera sent down through a shaft drilled to their emergency shelter deep in the San Jose mine in the north of the country. The mine collapsed during a landslide on August 5.

As the camera shows a table with dominoes laid out, one miner says: “This is where we entertain ourselves, where we play cards. We meet here every day. We plan, we have assemblies here every day so that all the decisions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33.”

Another miner looked at the camera and told his family: ‘Be calm. We’re going to get out of here. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts.’

The camera was sent down through a bore-hole used for communications. Another small hole which reaches the men’s shelter is used for lowering food, and a third provides ventilation.

San Esteban, the mining company which employs them, is doing nothing to help the rescue. It claims it cannot afford to pay their wages. Instead, Chile’s state-owned mining company is drilling an escape tunnel, which will cost about $1.7 million (£1.1 million).

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