Chile's 33 miners still not 'safe'

2012-08-05 17:32
Alex Vega, 31, was the 10th miner rescued. (Government of Chile, file)

Alex Vega, 31, was the 10th miner rescued. (Government of Chile, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Santiago - Two years have passed since the day 33 workers were trapped deep inside a Chilean mine for more than two months - and many of the rescued men are still figuring out how to move on.

While a few have managed to turn their fame into success, others are still struggling to heal from the psychological trauma of being trapped in a dark mine shaft 622m below the earth's surface.

Some say that just making a living has proven difficult after the fanfare surrounding their 69-day ordeal and internationally televised rescue dissipated.

On 5 August 2010, a shaft leading to the surface at the San Jose copper and gold mine in the Atacama desert collapsed, trapping 32 Chileans miners and a Bolivian colleague inside.

A five-meter tall cross has been installed near an altar dedicated to Virgin of La Candelaria - patron saint of miners - as a memorial to the accident.

"The last time we saw each other, about 80% of us were back at work somewhere," miner Juan Illanes told AFP. He now lives in Chillan, in southern Chile, and works for a company linked to the mining industry.

Illanes said that he has found solace in the local chapter of a Sufi Muslim support group based in Cyprus.

"We do group therapy and we meet in Vallenar [in southern Chile]. The leader of the group, Abdul, has introduced us to Muslim religious education," he said, without going into details.

Illanes was joined by two other rescued miners, Omar Reygadas and Dario Segovia, and travelled to Cyprus to meet the spiritual head of the Muslim Sufi Naqshbandi Order.

Face reality

It took rescuers 17 days to drill a small shaft to establish contact, and more than two months of painstaking effort before they opened a passage way wide enough to pull them out, one by one.

"After a year of trips and television shows, but without work or income, we had to face reality," miner Pablo Rojas told the daily El Mercurio.

Miner and ex-football player Franklin Lobos told the newspaper that it has taken him "a long time to recover physically and psychologically.

"My wife and I separated for some time, and now I get angry more easily than before," he said.

Victor Segovia, who stayed in the northern town of Copiapo, near the San Jose mine, works as a driver and said he has needed therapy and medication.

Edison Pena, the Elvis Presley fan who ran the New York marathon after his rescue and sang on the US late night David Letterman comedy show, was admitted to a detox centre for his drug and alcohol addiction.

Mario Sepulveda, the charismatic "star" of the miners and the second man to be rescued, has been more successful since the traumatic experience. He gives talks at conferences in Chile and abroad.

"I work often in workshops trying to reach at-risk children, especially though sports. I also work with mining companies, on risk and prevention, to ensure that what happened to us never happens again," Sepulveda, known by his nickname "Super Mario," told AFP.

The miners have just signed a contract with a Chilean company to create a line of memorabilia branded "The Miracle 33" to be sold in the country's airports.

They said they registered their trademark after catchphrases used by them had been appropriated by other parties.

A movie about their story will start filming in November for a planned February 2013 release.

- SAPA
Read more on:    chile  |  chile trapped miners  |  mining
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Motoring
 

Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Are you thirty and still single, without even a hint of a prospect on the horizon? Then read this!

 
 

Men24.com

SA’s Playboy Playmate of the year in action!
12 lies everyone accepts as fact
Hottie of the day: Charlotte
Breakup text goes viral and it’s hilarious!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may be hard to stay cool, calm and collected. Your emotions can get quite heated in the moment. You may benefit from finding a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.