Of the 33 trapped men in the Chilean mine, families members of 27 are suing the San Esteban mining company, accusing them of negligence and violations of several safety regulations. A lawyer said the families will also be demanding a similar amount from Chile’s government within the next few days.
The families say they’re angry the mine was re-opened a year after a fatal accident even though safety standards had not been improved at the site.
Local mayor Brunilda Gonzalez told Radio Cooperativa, “The suit is against the company that owns the mine, against the state workers who did not do their jobs and the Chilean state.”
The government froze the mining company’s assets after the mine collapse resulting in them filing for bankruptcy in September and leaving the government to pay the massive rescue operation costs.
The trapped miners are said to be in high spirits as the progress made in drilling their escape tunnels has raised hope they may be rescued a month ahead of schedule.
The drill could break through to the miners in as little as 15 days, but rescuers warn that unforeseen problems could occur and slow progress. Currently, one of the drill rigs is about 1,000 ft deep, about half way.