News / Americas

Video of Chilean Miners Released Late Thursday

A video showing the 33 Chilean miners trapped in an underground mine was released late Thursday.

Most of the men in the footage were shirtless and sported thick facial hair.  Some spoke individually into the camera.

Relatives of one of the miners have filed a lawsuit against the mine's owner.  

The family sued the San Esteban mining company Thursday, citing negligence in the accident that left workers trapped more than 600 meters underground.  The mine has a history of accidents and was shut down in recent years for safety reasons before being re-opened.

A Chilean judge froze $1.8 million in revenue from the mine Thursday as a precautionary measure as the company indicated it may declare bankruptcy.

Officials say it may take four months to dig a rescue shaft to free the miners.

The miners became trapped when a shaft collapsed in the gold and copper mine on August 5.  Rescuers first made contact with them on Sunday.  Officials organizing the rescue say some of the miners will have to lose weight to fit through the rescue shaft.

Two narrow holes have been drilled to communicate with the men and deliver food and other supplies to them, including games and antidepressants.  The men have used the holes to send messages to loved ones.

Chile has asked the U.S. space agency and Chile's submarine fleet for tips on survival in extreme, confined conditions.

Officials say the miners appear to have organized themselves well and have rallied behind their shift supervisor.

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

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