Officials learned Sunday that the 33 Chilean miners trapped by a cave-in are all alive and in an underground shelter. The miners have survived in the shelter for 18 days so far, but the wait is not over yet. According to officials, it could take as long as four months to rescue them. In the meantime, their health is the number one priority.
On Monday the miners will receive tubes of flashlights, water and oxygen. Medical officials said they would be assessing the health conditions of the miners to determine if they are able to withstand liquid nutrients.
Family members cheered when they learned that the miners, trapped since August 5, were all alive and well in the shelter, 2,300 feet underground. Mining officials and the Chilean President made it very clear that anyone responsible for the cave-in would be punished.
Due to the fact that the shelter is so deep, and the instability of the area around the cave-in, the rescue workers must approach carefully. This means it could take as long as four months to reach and rescue the miners.
Small tubes are being sent down into the shelter, filled with supplies needed by the miners. They hope to send microphones down as well, to enhance communications, and to help better determine the condition of the workers.
It could take a long time, but officials stress that the important factor is that the outcome is good, regardless of how long it takes.
((photo: Creative Commons / Xto F)