|Florencio Avalos, one of the 33 miners trapped in Chile: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters|
Chile (Reuters) - Chilean miners who survived 18 days after a cave-in received hydration gel and medication through a narrow drill hole on Monday, but officials said it could be months before the men are freed.
In what relatives called a miracle, the miners on Sunday tied a note to a perforation drill that had bored a shaft the circumference of a grapefruit to where they are located, 2,300 feet vertically underground.
The accident in the small gold and copper mine has turned a spotlight on mine safety in Chile, the world's No. 1 copper producer, although accidents are rare at major mines. The incident is not seen having a significant impact on Chile's output.
Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said rescue workers began sending plastic tubes called "doves" containing glucose solutions, hydration gels and medicine down to the miners to keep them alive while they dig a new shaft to extract them -- which could take up to four months.
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