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Some Rescued Chile Miners Return for Service


Rescued miners Juan Carlos Aguilar, left, and Carlos Mamani embrace as they arrive for a mass service at the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, 17 Oct 2010

Rescued miners Juan Carlos Aguilar, left, and Carlos Mamani embrace as they arrive for a mass service at the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, 17 Oct 2010

Some of the 33 rescued miners are attending a religious service at the Chilean mine where they spent more than two months trapped underground.

Miners Juan Aguilar and Carlos Mamani were among the first to arrive for the Mass Sunday, held in a white tent set up at the entrance to the San Jose copper and gold mine. Several of the miners are attending the ceremony with their families.

Medical officials said Saturday all but two of the 33 rescued miners had been released from the hospital to return home to their families. They said the remaining two miners required more attention and were being transferred to other hospitals.

The French news agency is reporting that only one miner now remains in a medical clinic.

The chief medical officer for the mine rescue, Dr. Jean Romagnoli, says the miners' health is overall very good.

The miners were trapped more than a half-kilometer underground after a mine collapse on August 5. They were not discovered alive until more than two weeks later. They survived underground longer than anyone on record and were rescued last Wednesday when workers lowered a specially built narrow cage down a newly drilled shaft and pulled the miners to safety one by one.

The drama was watched by hundreds of millions of people around the world.

The miners spent much of Thursday relaxing at the hospital with President Sebastian Pinera and still wearing dark sunglasses to protect their eyes from the lights, after their weeks in the dark mine.

They now are facing a barrage of requests for interviews, job offers, world tours, and film and book deals. Miner Edison Pena has been invited to attend the New York City Marathon after he detailed how he jogged in the mine's tunnels to alleviate the stress of his confinement.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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