Chilean president sacks officials over mine cave-in

15:30, August 12, 2010      

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Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Wednesday dismissed three mining regulators as 33 miners were still trapped in a collapsed copper mine in northern Chile since last week.

The three officials were Alejandro Vito, director of the National Service, Rodolfo Diaz, Atacama regional director of the National Service, and Exequiel Yanes, mining assistant director.

The rescue work had been continuing at the mine located near Copiapo city, some 800 km north of capital Santiago. Pinera said rescuers were reinforcing the ramp's tunnels to try to reach the trapped miners.

The miners took refuge in a shelter about 700 meters underground, where they had oxygen, water and food, but could not communicate with the rescuers.

A local mining official said Tuesday he shut down the mine in 2007 because of frequent accidents, but the suspension was lifted after he left office in 2008.

Source: Xinhua


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