Trapped miners in Chile prepare to face the cameras


COPIAPO, Chile–With their anticipated rescue just weeks away, the 33 miners trapped in a Chilean mine have begun training on how to speak to the public and to the media once they emerge from the Earth’s depths. Trainers began working with the men this week on “public speaking and public relations” sessions, said Alberto Iturra, the head of the psychologists’ team that is tending to the miners who have been trapped since a shaft collapsed on August 5. The training aims “to teach them to express clearly their ideas and how to handle situations so that the microphones and cameras do not turn out to be stressful for them, or become a problem that they do not know how to face.” Authorities expect some 700 journalists from around the world to arrive on scene to cover the rescue, including reporters for print, television and radio as well as videographers, sound technicians, photographers and support staff. Mines Minister Laurence Golborne announced Friday that the rescue could take place in the second half of October, several weeks earlier than planned, because drills were making swift progress toward opening a large enough hole to extract them from their emergency shelter 700 meters (2,200 feet) below ground. Technicians on Saturday also tested the custom-built cage that will be lowered into the mine to pull the men out one by one. “We are in the process of trying to get all the equipment and infrastructure ready for the big day and are carrying out all the necessary tests and trial runs to prevent any possible complications,” Golborne told reporters. It is expected to take about one hour to extract each man from the mine.