Trapped Chile Miners “Reasonably” Healthy

The 33 Chilean miners trapped several hundreds of meters underground remain in good health more than 20 days since they were thought to have died when a shaft leading to a mine they were operating in collapsed on August 5, the South American country’s health minister said.

The government made the announcement as a new video of the miners was released on Friday. The video, the second since the miners were discovered alive on Sunday, was taken by a camera lowered by authorities through a 700-meter hole that serves as the miners’ connection to the outside world. In the video, the miners appear emaciated but otherwise healthy.

“This is where we entertain ourselves, where we have meeting every day, where we make plans. This is where we pray,” one of the miners is heard on the video as he took footages of the mine. Authorities have drilled three, narrow 700-meter holes that would be used to provide supplies, ventilation, and communication to the miners.

Officials said it would take up to four months to drill a tunnel that would be used to rescue the miners. Rescue workers are forced to work slowly so as to prevent another collapse due to the instability of the mine, which is made up of copper and gold.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.