16 Oct 2010

More miners to go home soon

4:25 pm on 16 October 2010

Doctors treating 30 freed miners still in hospital in Chile say at least 10 more will be discharged on Friday.

Three of the men were allowed home on Thursday and officials at the hospital in the northern town of Copiapo say the rest are in very good shape.

Health Minister Jaime Manalich says all are likely to have a hard time psychologically.

The 33 were winched one by one to the surface in a special capsule on Tuesday and Wednesday after being underground for 69 days.

Survival techniques

Details of the miners' darkest days underground are coming to light.

They are in surprisingly good health and high spirits, but several say they feared they would die in those first desperate weeks.

They tried scrambling up air shafts and burning tyres to alert rescuers on the surface.

Realising they could be trapped for some time, the men restricted themselves to two scoops of tuna and half a cracker daily.

When their reserves of bottled water dwindled to 10 litres, they began drinking from metal drums of water tainted with motor oil.