Chile miners launch souvenir range to mark rescue

Image caption,
Rescuers worked day and night to drill an escape route for the 33

The Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days in 2010 are launching a range of souvenirs.

Under the name "The 33 of the miracle", the miners, who were rescued in an operation followed around the world, will be selling T-shirts, mugs, and commemorative medals.

One of the miners, Jose Ojeda, said the items would be on sale at airports, so that tourists could take home a souvenir of Chile and the rescue.

The proceeds will go to the miners.

Mr Ojeda said they had chosen the name "The 33 of the miracle" after they found that more memorable names such as "The Atacama 33" and "Operation San Lorenzo" had already been registered by other people.

Shooting is also expected to start in November on a film telling the story of the rockfall which trapped the miners underground and their subsequent rescue.

On 5 August 2012, the second anniversary of the rockfall, many of the miners will attend a ceremony at the San Jose Mine near the town of Copiapo, where a monument to their rescue will be inaugurated.

The monument will consist of a large cross 5m (16ft) in height and an altar to the Virgin of the Candelaria, the patron saint of miners.

Chilean billionaire Leonardo Farkas gave each of the miners a gift of $10,000 (£6,350) after the rescue.

Fourteen of them are receiving a state pension, but many of them say they are struggling for money.

Some also suffer from flashbacks and nightmares from the time when they were trapped in the San Jose mine.