Chileans see mine rescue as 'rebirth' for 'forgotten' country

San Jose (Chile), Oct 12(ANI): As the two month ordeal of Chile's 33 trapped miners comes to an end, many are seeing the entire rescue act as a rebirth for the South American country.

Chile, which is still recovering from a devastating February earthquake, has been highlighted in the international media following the August 5 collapse of the San Jose gold and copper mine.

An estimated 700,000 tonnes of rock collapsed inside the 121-year-old mine in the historically significant mining accident.

Rescue officials led by a senior United States mine engineer had estimated that it would take three to four months to complete the rescue, but it is now believed that they can be pulled out to safety in a complex operation over the next two days.

According to the Washington Post, Chileans have long fretted that aside from a dark dictatorship that ended in 1989, their country gets little attention, but the dramatic rescue has buoyed them like nothing else.

"This has been very positive for the country, because in the world, no one knew Chile. But now they know us. They know how we help each other," the newspaper quoted Belgica Ramirez, a relative of a trapped miner, as saying.

The miners are trapped at approximately 700 metres deep and about five kilometres, following the twists and turns of the main entrance shaft, from the mine entrance.

However, they are reported to be in high spirits in anticipation of their rescue.

They have been sent clean socks and shampoo - and even shoe polish - at their request.

They are said to be cleaning the refuge in which they have now spent 66 days. (ANI)

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