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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Chilean Mining Ministry/PA

Will you be mine?: Sending his love up the well

The Chilean miners speak to their loved ones for the first time – and one proposes.

THE 33 MEN trapped in a copper and gold mine in Chile have had their first telephone conversations with their families – and one of the men took the chance to propose to his wife of 25 years.

A video of the men released yesterday shows them using a telephone system lowered to them on Saturday to speak with their loved ones, explaining how they are in much better health since food, water, medicine and supplies were dropped down to them.

The men were also given specialised clothing, resembling towel nappies, to help keep them dry.

The 33 men have been trapped in the mine since August 5 when a cave-in stranded them inside. They were feared to have died from starvation – having been trapped with just 48 hours’ worth of food – before they were able to attach a message to a camera lowered towards them explaining that they were still alive.

Five of the men refused to appear in the video, however, sparking fears that they may be depressed.

One miner, Esteban Rojas, took the time in solitude to think about his future and decided, if he ever had the chance to speak to his wife again, that he would ask her to marry him.

Rojas and his wife Jessica Yanez had a civil registration 25 years ago, and even have three children and two grandchildren, but never married in a church ceremony, as is the norm in Chile.

“Please keep praying that we get out of this alive,” he wrote in a note to her that was sent above ground over the weekend. “And when I do get out, we will buy a dress and get married.”

Yanez said the note made her “shout with joy”, explaining: ”I think he thought about his family at that moment … and that gave him the strength to fight on.”