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Ear to the Ground

Freedom May Come With Challenges for Chilean Miners

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Posted on Oct 13, 2010
AP / Jorge Saenz

Pablo Rojas (in green) waves to people after being rescued at the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, on Wednesday.

The 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for two months were pulled out of their predicament one by one Wednesday, and hopefully their ordeal is truly over, but Chilean officials are giving them the option of leaning on expert help if adjusting to life above ground proves difficult.  —KA

ABC News:

One miner’s wife said she doubts that her husband will return to work in the mines. Other miners may feel the same way.

“There may be a fear of going back to work,” said Foa. “There’s a very realistic risk of working in the mines. Events like this one don’t happen every day, but the risk is there.”

But Al Holland, a senior operational psychologist from NASA who’s on the team advising Chilean officials on the rescue effort, said he doesn’t think the miners will feel that way, although it is possible that some will.

“There’s no reason to expect there will be any problems with work. They were trapped where they work, which is different from being trapped in an unusual situation,” said Holland.

Holland said Chilean officials are giving miners access to counseling for six months so they can deal with their issues. But Foa said counseling might not be enough.

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By moni, October 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment
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Good news for Chile.  Amazing brotherhood of miners and at last there is interest in world-wide brotherhood of miners.  2600 Chinese miners died last year.  The West’s insatiable appetite for cheap consumer goods is making China’s slave labor market extremely dispensable.

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By jc, October 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment
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VIVA CHILE!

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rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, October 14, 2010 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

I understand that the biggest challenge for a handful of the miners will be how to keep their wives from killing their mistresses or vice versa.

Word is out that they will be paid for their ordeal, and women are lining up to share in the take.

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By moonraven, October 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Not so fast, gerard:

The survivors of the incident have not been given one cent of liquidation.  And we’re talking about HOW many days since they last had a job?

Mining companies—especially in Latin America—are known for unduly risking the lives of their workers and not paying them any severance when they are laid off and not paying anything to widows and orphans of miners who have died in easily-preventable accidents.

Let’s see if the owners of this company ctually come across with the scratch.

I will believe it when I see the money.

Not to mention that mining and its eclogical disasters needs to come under very close crutiny everywhere on the planet.

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By gerard, October 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm Link to this comment

What a tremendous operation this was!  All the people concerned with bringing it to success should be congratulated and lauded, including the miners themselves, of course.  Human courage and cooperation can achieve wonders, lest we forget.

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