Chile calls for int'l aid to rescue trapped miners

16:02, August 10, 2010      

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Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Monday called for international aid to rescue the 33 minters trapped in a copper mine in northern Chile since Thursday.

"We have contacted countries with a lot of experience on mining, such as Peru, the United States, Canada and Australia, because if they have technology, equipment or knowledge to help us, we are going to use it," Pinera said.

The miners are trapped some 350 meters deep in San Jose copper mine, near Copiapo city, some 800 km from capital city Santiago.

The trapped miners took refuge in a shelter with oxygen, water and ventilation in the mine, so they can still hold to life, said the San Esteban Company, owner of the mine.

Pinera visited the mine on Monday to meet with the miners' relatives and pledged that his government will take all possible measures to rescue them.

Tunnel and engineering experts from mining companies will rush to the scene to rescue the miners, said Pinera. After the rescue attempt failed on Saturday, rescue teams are working day and night on the scene.

Pinera also announced on Monday the restructuring of the Geology and Mining National Service, which is in charge of the operation of the mining industry.

Meanwhile, National Prosecutor Sabas Chahuan said on Monday that a formal investigation of the mine's cave-in is conducted by the Regional Prosecutor of Atacama and the investigation police was ordered to collect evidence.

Source: Xinhua


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