Archive for Thursday, August 26, 2010

Miners told to keep slim for rescue

August 26, 2010

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— Just 35 inches around the waist — that’s how skinny Chile’s 33 trapped miners have been told they need to be to squeeze through the escape tunnel, the health minister said Wednesday.

Dr. Jaime Manalich said rescuers are applying a holistic plan to support the miners’ well-being during the months it may take to carve out the tunnel, including exercise and other activities to keep them from gaining weight.

“We’re working to determine a secure area where the miners can manage things. The space they’re in actually has about two kilometers of galleries to walk around in,” he said. “We hope to define a secure area where they can establish various places — one for resting and sleeping, one for diversion, one for food, another for work.”

Establishing a daily and nightly routine is important, the minister said, adding that having fun also will be critical. The rescue team is creating an entertainment program “that includes singing, games of movement, playing cards. We want them to record songs, to make videos, to create works of theater for the family.”

What the team doesn’t want them to know is that they may be stuck below for up to four months. While the miners have a general idea that their rescue will take time, they haven’t been given the details, Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter said Wednesday.

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