Chilean miners may be trapped until December

Clothes, medicine and games sent through borehole to men facing long wait

The Chilean miners who have been trapped underground for three weeks have been informed that they may not see the light of day before Christmas. The health minister, Jaime Mañalich, said the 33 men—who had not previously been told how long the operation could take—had accepted the news calmly during talks with the Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera. Rescue workers have also finished a second narrow borehole, which has the diameter of a grapefruit, and will be dedicated to channeling drinking water to the miners and keeping communications flowing. Though Mañalich said the men are still in good shape, rescuers are trying to keep the miners mentally and physically fit by sending clothes, medicine and games down the 700-metre borehole. The men will also be given antidepressants. “We expect that after the initial euphoria of being found, we will likely see a period of depression and anguish,” Mañalich told reporters. “We are preparing medication for them. It would be naive to think they can keep their spirits up like this.”


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