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Chile's Ambassador Tracks Rescue From D.C.

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Chile's Ambassador to the U.S., Arturo Fermandois, followed the rescue of the 33 miners from his office in Northwest D.C. Now he hopes to hear answers about the cause of the mine collapse.

For 69 days, the miners waited deep underground. Their two-day rescue was a dramatic achievement. The ordeal began with the collapse of a mine with a history of problems.

Fermandois says, as he celebrates the miners safe and successful rescue, he is also mindful that questions remain unanswered about the condition which caused the San Jose mine to collapse.

"There's some investigations going on, but we're almost certain that the company didn't fulfill some regulations. And the problem we have there is that big companies...have very good standards in safety and also good oversight, but small companies normally are not that well [overseen]," Fermandois says.

Fermandois claims Chilean laws will protect the miners with a form of workman's compensation and payment for medical expenses until they have recovered from the ordeal.

More than 300 men have died in mine accidents in Chile in the past decade.

NPR

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