Local miners feel sorrow for trapped South American miners

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -  Thirty-three Chilean miners remain trapped in a copper mine. Video shows the miners are alive and putting on a brave face, despite being trapped for two weeks.

Officials say it will take until Christmas to mount a rescue effort.

In Hueytown, United Mine Workers of America say something has to be done.

"It's a cheerful event when you find out they are alive, but it is depressing they may not get out 'til Christmas," said Daryl Dewberry, 1st vice-president of UMWA District 20.

Dewberry says the United States has equipment to help. "I think the country should step up to the plate. We have advanced technology. I think we have the capability to get down there a heck of a lot quicker than by Christmas," Dewberry added.

Tom Wilson, with the UMWA, has worked on health and safety matters for years.

Wilson says even if they have food and water, there are health issues to consider. "With each passing day health becomes more and more an issue. The conditions down there are not sanitary," Wilson said

Both men say time is of the essence, "It's important everyone step up and shorten that period they are underground," Wilson said

"All miners, regardless of comradely, have a feel for one another," Dewberry said.

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