Chilean president confirms trapped miners are alive after 17 days

08:35, August 23, 2010      

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Chilean President Sebastian Pinera shows a note reading "we are fine in the shelter, the 33 of us" from the 33 miners trapped in a copper mine near Copiapo in north Chile, Aug. 22, 2010. Pinera said on Sunday that the 33 miners trapped since Aug. 5 in a copper mine are still alive.(Xinhua/AFP Photo)

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said on Sunday that the 33 miners trapped since 17 days ago in a copper mine in the north of the country are still alive.

Pinera said that the rescue teams made contact with the miners through a messaged tied to a drill and retrieved the signal of one of the miners.

Pinera read a note written by the miners in red letter which said "we are fine in the shelter, the 33 of us."

Pinera said that this message was tied to a drill, and in the message the miners said they are in a shelter located 700 meters deep inside the mine.

"I want to tell you that Chile is crying of joy and excitement, the first is to thank the miners, their relatives, who even at the most difficult moments kept their hope, to the human team working for their rescue," Pinera said.

On Sunday the rescue team sent a second exploration line, which reached 688 meters deep, some 20 meters far from the shelter where the miners are.

However, Pinera said that the rescue of the workers inside the mine will take "months" because it is a difficult work as the shelter is some 700 meters deep.


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(Editor:燕勐)

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