Tags: chile miner rescue united

Chile's Miners United the Country

Tuesday, 12 Oct 2010 08:44 AM


CALDERA, Chile — Bernarda Lorca would usually be sitting in her wheelchair, selling cosmetics and handmade crepe-paper flowers on the street in Santiago. Instead, she spent last night at the dusty San Jose mine site here, making flowers for the dozens of women who have waited at the mine gate for 68 days since a cave-in trapped their husbands, brothers, and sons.

With the world's biggest copper producing country in a frenzy over the possible imminent rescue of 33 trapped miners, Ms. Lorca is part of a caravan offering both financial and moral support.

The collapse of the mine has helped pull together a geographically disparate, class-conscious, and often individualistic country.

"The people are more united," Lorca said the dining hall at Camp Hope, where the families have been joined by more than 1,000 journalists awaiting the mine rescue. "Chile is very divided. The rich are rich and the poor are poor. Here, people who might be a bit snobbier have to walk in the same mud as everyone else. You can't walk around here in polished shoes."

The Chile mine rescue is scheduled to begin tonight at midnight, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said yesterday. Preparations have taken almost two months since the miners were found alive by drillers Aug. 22. Since then, the rescue team drilled a 622-meter chute to the miners' living space. The tube is big enough to hold a metal cage that that will protect the workers as they are hauled up by winches and pulleys on an inch-thick steel cable.

Read the entire story at csmonitor.com

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