The stunning images of the trapped miners surviving in their refuge deep underground captivated the world. Now its emerged five of the 33 are not eating properly and had refused to be filmed.
It is feared they are showing the first signs of depression. Psychologists will attempt to treat the men from the surface while families and relatives know they have a part to play as Omar Reygada whose father is one of the trapped miners explained.
“They have been there for so many days and they’ve been so strong,” he said. “When we talk to them we’ll cheer them up so they won’t get more depressed.”
Many of the relatives are now questioning why the mine was allowed to reopen in 2008, a year after it had been shut because of an accident.
And the President wants a rise in royalties to boost reconstruction following the earthquake six months ago.
“We are proposing to ask the big mining companies, who are going through a good economic spell to make an additional voluntary contribution. We are calling for a rise in the royalty taxes and hope the mining companies will agree,” said President Sebastian Pinera in a speech to mark the six month anniversary of the quake.
Heavy machinery from Spain and Australia, including a 29-ton hydraulic bore, is due to start work on the escape tunnel while doctors from the US space agency Nasa, experts in keeping astronauts alive and well are set to assist medical officials with the trapped miners.