TV, Video Chat for Chilean Miners—But No Headphones

Private music, videogames withheld from stranded men
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2010 4:56 PM CDT
In this TV frame grab released by Chile's government, trapped miner Esteban Rojas shows a piece of a drill that fell into the mine while drilling, about 350 meters (1,148 feet) away from the shelter where...   (AP Photo/Chilean Government)
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(Newser) – The Chilean miners trapped a half-mile underground are now getting regular shipments of hot food, modern technology, and a little discipline, the AP reports. The miners have a videophone, which they can use to talk to their families for 8 minutes a person every Friday and Saturday, as well as cable TV—nothing overly dramatic, think The Mask. And they're having to go without videogames, headphones, and other devices that rescuers fear might isolate them from each other.

"With earphones, if they're listening to music and someone calls them, asking for help or to warn them about something, they're not available," says the lead psychiatrist on the rescue effort. "What they need is to be together." The 33 are divided into three teams of 11, and rotate shifts sleeping, clearing rock, and manning the "palomas," or pigeons—the near constant capsules from the surface that deliver essentials and take away waste. The government hopes to pull the miners out by early November, after three months underground.

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