September 12th, 2010
08:19 AM ET

Chilean miners will get cigarettes, electricity

The miners trapped for more than a month in Chile are getting a light in more ways than one.

The 33 men have received a power line that will allow them to install electric lights in their shelter 2,300 feet underground, mining officials said Saturday.

Officials are also granting the miners' longstanding request for cigarettes. Rescuers are sending down two packs a day to be split between the miners who want to smoke, Chilean Health Minister Jaime Manalich said.

Cigarettes were among the first requests made by some of the miners, but officials have been supplying them with nicotine patches and gum instead. Upgrades made to ventilation in the mine led officials to decide to allow them to smoke, Manalich said.

A new compressor was improving air circulation in the mine, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said, and the addition of electricity will allow the men to have more lighting in the area where they are trapped, helping restore their sleep patterns.

After rescuers reach them, the lights might help the men adjust to daylight, Manalich said. But doctors will still take special precautions to protect the miners' eyes once they reach the surface, he said.

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Filed under: Chile • Mine accidents
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. hoss

    How about sending them down some hustlers.

    September 12, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. itsbecauseucare

    why with cigarettes and light! they may never come out.

    September 12, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Leigh

    Because they are trying to make these poor men as comfortable as possible while they work on rescue efforts. Even though these things may seem small or insignificant to us, its vital to these men to help maintain their physical, mental and emotional well being. My heart goes out to these men. I cant imagine what they and their families are going through...

    September 12, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Charlie

    as a smoker I am glad to hear they are finally giving those that smoke their cigarettes. They probably will help their stress levels and make them a lot easier to live with. MAY GOD BLESS AND KEEP THEM.

    September 13, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • usbjiggerlighter

      Oh, yup. In this situation, cigarettes really work for releasing their pressure and keep them moving on mentally. But one the other hand, how dreadful it is for non-smokers who have to suffer from the smoke in such environment with poor ventilation.
      God bless them! Wish they could come out soon!

      October 13, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. Connie Morrison

    its amazing they are alive today. i pray for them everyday. i admire the courage they and their families have been forced to have. may peace be with you all. many hugs from your american friends here.:)

    September 13, 2010 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nigerian Gee

    They are in my prayers and thoughts. May God help them and their families.

    September 13, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. dwight huth

    I wonder if it would be possible to drill another hole beside the first hole and then send down firehoses. The fire hoses would then be used by the miners to slowly erode their way through the cave in to a point where there may be a vertical escape hatch that they could use to reach the surface. If not they could continue to use the fire hoses to erode the cave in away until they were able to get out.

    September 13, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Janna

    It will be very interesting to hear the miners' captivity stories once they are freed- (it might still be months). I heard mid- November. There'll be lots of interest from the psychology world to understand how these miners survived physically but most important- mentally. I can't imagine being in a small confined space with my co-workers- there would definitely be some serious conflict and injury. I don't think we can begin to appreciate how difficult their situation is. Good luck to them all.

    September 14, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |