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Last updated at 14:46 BST, Monday, 22 August 2011

Chilean miners' anniversary


22 August 2011

The 33 miners who were rescued from underground in Chile last year are marking the first anniversary of the day that they were found alive.

Many of them have said that August the 22nd was the most memorable day of their whole ordeal.

Gideon Long

Rescued Chilean miners on 5th August 2011

The miners attended an event on 5th August, one year from the start of their ordeal


Click to hear the report:


Most people in Chile remember where they were when they heard that the miners had been found alive. It's a day that's etched on the national conscience.

The men had been trapped for 17 days. Nothing had been heard from them and most people had given them up for dead.

Then on August 22nd engineers pulled a drill out of the ground and found a splash of red paint on it - a sign of life. Moments later they found a note attached to the drill. "We are all well in the shelter, the 33," it read.

The discovery sparked wild celebrations across Chile. The miners will be remembering that day in private ceremonies in the city of Copiapo.

The government has decided not to mark the occasion formally. A similar anniversary in Copiapo two weeks ago was marred by protests against President Sebastian Pinera.

Relations between the miners and the government have soured somewhat since July, when 31 of the men launched legal action against the Chilean state, accusing it of negligence.

And in Copiapo, some of the workers from the San Jose mine who weren't trapped but who lost their jobs because of the accident have accused the 33 of taking advantage of their celebrity and using it to line their own pockets.

Gideon Long, BBC News, Chile


Click to hear the vocabulary:


etched on the national conscience

forever remembered by the country

given them up for dead

believed that they were already dead or that they were alive but could not be rescued and would certainly die

the shelter

a place designed to be safe in times of emergency or accident


caused, started

to mark the occasion

to do something special to remember and celebrate what happened

marred by

spoiled by, ruined by


turned from good to bad




failing to provide correct and necessary safety systems

to line their own pockets

to make money for themselves in a selfish way

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