Hope of rescuing 33 miners lingers: Chilean president

16:42, August 13, 2010      

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Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said Thursday that there is still hope that 33 miners trapped for a week inside a copper mine in the country's north are still alive.

"The hope of finding them alive still exists. If things go well and God helps us, this weekend we can contact them," Pinera said.

"Our rescuers have covered more than two thirds of the path to reach these compatriots," the president said, adding that the miners could stay in a shelter in the mine where there is oxygen, food and water.

However, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne earlier said there is little hope of finding survivors because the food and water in the shelter would only last for several days.

On Aug. 5, the copper mine San Jose, 800 km north of Santiago, collapsed, trapping the miners.

Initial reports said 34 miners were trapped inside, but mine officials later put the number at 33 late last week.

Source: Xinhua


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