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Rescuers dig closer to miners

NATANGA SMITH, [email protected]

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SAN JOSE MINE, Chile – Excitement grew day outside the mine where 33 men have been trapped for more than two months, as a drill carving an escape shaft pushed through the final section of rock above their underground chamber.
“Today could be a great day,” tweeted Mining Minister Laurence Golborne, quoting a song by Joan Manuel Serrat.Health Minister Jaime Manalich, speaking briefly as he arrived at the mine, raised expectations even more by repeating “Tuesday” back to reporters who asked if the men could be pulled out that day.
The miners’ families kept vigil overnight, singing songs around a bonfire and doing early morning calisthenics to shake off anxiety and shivers in the bitter desert cold.
“Just a little bit left to go, a very little bit,” said Cristina Nunez, whose husband, Claudio Yanez, is trapped below. Still, she wants rescuers to take no chances, waiting a few days more if necessary to pull them all out safely. (AP)