Sunday, August 29, 2010
Chilean officials say the rescue could take months but that they hope to reach the miners by Christmas. The copper mine collapsed on August 5, and the 33 miners have been trapped in a space nearly half a mile underground ever since.
A small passageway has already been put in place so messages and supplies can be sent to the trapped miners.
Although a crucifix has already been sent down, the miners are continuing to request more statues of Mary and the saints – as well as a Chilean flag to construct a make-shift chapel. “The miners want to set up a section of the chamber they are in as a shrine,” Chilean’s Minister of Health, Jaime Manalich told CNN.
This week, President Sebastian Pinera spoke with the miners by phone and then placed a statue of St. Lorenzo, the patron of miners, in the presidential palace together with 32 Chilean flags and one Bolivian flag to represent each of the miners trapped since August 5.