Latin America & Caribbean

Trapped Chile miner's wife gives birth to daughter

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Media captionThe delivery of baby Esperanza was recorded for the father to see at a later date

The wife of one of the 33 miners trapped underground in Chile has given birth to a baby girl.

Ariel Ticona, who has been trapped underground for 40 days, has asked his wife to name the girl Esperanza, Spanish for hope.

The couple already have two sons together.

Relatives recorded the delivery, and say they will send the video down through one of the shafts being used to ferry supplies to the trapped men.

Before the main access tunnel to the San Jose copper and gold mine collapsed on 5 August, Mr Ticona, 29, had promised to be in the delivery room for the birth.

Family joy

When he was told that his rescue and that of the other 32 men trapped 700m below ground could take up to four months, he asked his wife Elizabeth Segovia to record the occasion.

Image caption The Schramm T-130 may resume drilling on Wednesday

Ms Segovia said she was nervous before going into the operating room for the caesarean section.

She said they had first planned on naming their daughter Carolina, but then decided to change it to Esperanza, after the camp at the mine head where many of the families have been living since the collapse occurred.

Ariel's father, Hector Ticona, told BBC Mundo's Rodrigo Bustamante that the family had gathered at their home in Copiapo, some 70km from the mine.

He said they were very happy.

"She weighed a little more than 3kg and everything went well, we're just waiting for them to be discharged," he said.

Mr Ticona said he would go to the mine on Wednesday to try to speak to his son over a telephone line which has been lowered to the miners through a narrow supply hole.

He said he hoped his son would be able to see the video of the birth soon.


Last week, the miners watched Chile's national football team play Ukraine on a tiny television screen.

They have also been communicating with their families over a video link.

Rescue workers hope the news of the birth will cheer up the men, some of whom are reportedly frustrated by the slow pace of the rescue efforts.

The Schramm T-130, one of the machines drilling a hole to rescue the men, has been out of commission for four days after a piece of the drill broke off and got caught in the machinery.

Engineers said on Tuesday that the piece had been recovered and drilling could resume on Wednesday.

Rene Aguilar, one of the engineers leading the rescue efforts, said another drill used to free the men, the Strata 950, had reached a depth of 283m on Tuesday.

A third drill is being assembled at the mine, but is not expected to start working before 20 September.