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Fri, Oct 15, 2010
The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
Chilean miners offered visit to Korea

The Chilean miners rescued after two months trapped underground were offered a trip to Korea by the Chilean football players' association, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

According to the report, the miners have been offered a long list of freebies. Greek mining company Elmin has offered to cover all the miners' expenses on a trip to some Greek islands. The trip also includes watching a Real Madrid C.F. soccer game in Madrid, Spain, as well as a Manchester United game in England.

Whilst the miners were underground, FC Barcelona sent down T-shirts autographed by players to cheer them up.

The miners will also receive a free iPod each, sent by Steve Jobs, and an annual free sushi coupon by a Santiago-based sushi company.

Meanwhile, Bolivian President Evo Morales promised to build a home for the Bolivian miner, Carlos Mamani.

The miners could emerge to fame and fortune as they are offered opportunities to turn their ordeal into movies and books. They could also win compensation from a $12 million lawsuit they have launched against San Esteban and the state regulatory body for failing to protect them. In addition, there is an unknown amount of compensation due from the Chilean government.

Chile completed the rescue of 33 miners trapped half a mile below the Atacama Desert for more than two months, sparking celebrations at the mine site and on city streets throughout the South American country, Bloomberg reports.

According to Bloomberg, Foreman Luis Urzua emerged from the San Jose copper mine as the last member of the group hoisted to the surface in a four-meter long capsule. Rescuers hugged each other and sang the national anthem as the miners' relatives and friends sprayed champagne and confetti.

More than 1 billion people watched the culmination of the two-month rescue live on television networks around the world, state television channel TVN reported.

The 70-day rescue beat a previous record set during a 25-day rescue of three coal workers from a flooded mine in Guizhou, China, in 2009.

Firehouse sirens throughout Chile screamed to celebrate the rescue of the 33rd miner. In the city of Copiapo, where most of the rescued miners live, thousands of people cheered, danced and wept in celebration, television images showed. People screamed from their Santiago apartments: "Long live Chile!"

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