UPDATE Experts anticipate it may take up to four months to rescue the miners from the collapsed mine. Preparations have begun to secure a six-inch wide tunnel that will be used to transport necessities to the men. The first capsules will include water and food in the form of a high-energy glucose gel. Questionnaires will also be sent down so medical experts can assess the health of the individual miners. Hopefully within hours small microphones will be set up so that the miners can communicate with their family members over this long period.
Health Minister Jaime Manalich explained,” We need to urgently establish what psychological situation they are in. They need to understand what we know up here at the surface, that it will take many weeks for them to reach the light.”
A team of medical experts arrived on Monday and began to implement a plan to keep close tables on the men’s mental and physical health.
Chile’s President has just announced that all 33 of the miners trapped in a collapsed mine for the past 17 days are alive. It is the San Esteban mine, near the city of Copiapo. The collapse occurred on August 4.
Initially a probe sent down 2257 feet (688 meters) into the collapsed gold and copper mine heard distant hammering noises.
Rescuers say another probe sent into the mine came back with a paper message written in red letters saying, “All 33 of us are fine in the shelter.” Officials warn it may take months to dig the miners out.