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Trapped Chilean Miners Still Alive; Rescue Could Take Months

By: CBS
By: CBS

After more than two weeks, 33 trapped miners in Chile are still alive but rescuing them could take months.

Chilean rescuers erupted in cheers Sunday after receiving a hand-written note from the trapped miners.

"All 33 of us are fine in the shelter," Chile's president read from the piece of paper. It had been tied to a rescue drill.

A video camera lowered into the shaft offered the first glimpse of the men 17 days after they were last seen.

Roxana Gomez's father is one of the miners.

"When he comes out", she says, "I'll tell him a million times that I love him".

But Roxana may not get her reunion for quite some time. Officials say it could take up to four months to dig a hole big enough to pull the miners out.

Chile's president has appealed for international help in rescuing the trapped men. Both the U.S. and Australia have already sent equipment and promised further assistance.

Chile has some of the most advanced mining operations in the world, but both the company that owns the mine and the National Mining Service have been criticized for allegedly failing to comply with regulations.

The 33 miners managed to survive by reaching an emergency shelter and drinking underground water. They'll soon be getting more supplies and communications from rescue teams on the surface.

But their toughest challenge now may be waiting out the next several weeks underground.


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