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Miners talk to families with video conferencing

Relatives of the 33 miners who have been trapped underground have finally been able to see their loved ones, thanks to video conferencing.

As reported by The Washington Post, over 100 relatives were shuttled to the hillside near the mouth of the mine so they could communication with the trapped men. They cheered as video conferencing technology allowed them to see and hear their loved ones for the first time.

Until now, they have only been able to communicate by telephone, and with relatives complaining that the government has lost mail they’ve send to the miners.

“I tried to be strong, but I cried at once,” said the daughter of a Bolivian football-star-turned-miner, who is the only non-Chilean stuck 700 metres underground. “He looks great. I forgot to tell him to go on camera more, and we were so excited we didn’t talk.”

She thanked the technicians for installing video conferencing technology, saying: “It was like he was in the living room, right here.”

The miners became trapped in August after the ground collapsed on them. According to The BBC, the miners became national heroes after contact was made with them on August 22nd, following 17 days of silence.

It was originally thought that it could take four months to rescue the miners, but thanks to a new plan they could resurface as soon as November. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the rescue operation has already got underway, however only 40 metres have been drilled so far, which leaves a further 660 metres left to drill before they can be rescued.