Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Chile's Miners Are Reborn after Rescue; President Says Country Is a Different Place

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Chile's Miners Are Reborn after Rescue; President Says Country Is a Different Place

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Black

CHILE'S 33 rescued miners were reported to be in good health last night as they met the country's president who pledged tougher safety laws.

President Sebastian Pinera posed with the miners, most of whom were wearing bathrobes and slippers, for a photo in the hospital where they are being assessed.

Relatives organised welcome-home parties and tried to hold off an onslaught of demands by those seeking to share in the glor y of the amazing rescue that entranced people around the world and set off horn-blowing celebrations across the South American nation.

Mr Pinera celebrated the rescue as an achievement that will bring Chile a new level of respect around the world. The miners and the country will never be the same, he said.

"They have experienced a new life, a rebirth," he said. "We aren't the same that we were before the collapse on August 5. Today Chile is a country much more unified, stronger and much more respected and loved in the entire world." The billionaire politician also promised radical changes and tougher safety laws to improve worker safety.

"Never again in our country will we permit people to work in conditions so unsafe and inhuman as they worked in the San Jose Mine, and in many other places in our country," said Mr Pinera.

None of the miners are suffering from shock despite their harrowing entrapment, a reflection of the care and feeding sent through a narrow borehole by a team of hundreds during their 69 days trapped underground. Even a team of psychologists helped keep them sane. "All of them have been subjected to high levels of stress and most of them have tolerated it in a truly exceptional way," said Dr Jorge Montes, deputy director of the Copiapo Regional Hospital. …

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