Amid celebrations, Chile miners struggle with fame

Chile`s miners have indulged in neighborhood homecoming parties and barbecues as they tried to ignore the burdens of their new found fame after surviving 69 days trapped deep underground.

Updated: Oct 17, 2010, 12:12 PM IST

Copiapo: Chile`s miners have indulged in neighborhood homecoming parties and barbecues as they tried to ignore the burdens of their new found fame after surviving 69 days trapped deep underground.

Thirty-one of the 33 miners spent the night at home Friday after being allowed to leave the hospital where they were treated upon being lifted from the gold and copper mine on Wednesday.

One miner was allowed to return home Saturday and another stayed in a medical facility for treatment of a dental problem, an issue that was expected to be resolved by Tuesday.

But even as joyous friends and family welcomed their beloved men back to the gritty mining town of Copiapo, the miners struggled to come to terms with the weight of their fame and the international attention they have drawn after their incredible ordeal.
"This isn`t right," miner Victor Segovia said when he went home to find a crowd of camera-toting news crews waiting, according to an account in the newspaper La Tercera.

"We are nobodies. We are only simple people who survived," he was quoted as saying.
"What they are facing in the week to come is very difficult," said Health Minister Jaime Manalich.

One of the miners, Jose Henriquez, who was credited with being the spiritual leader of the group, was drawn back to the mine on Saturday for a nostalgic visit, his brother told a local radio station.

Bureau Report