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35 miners have died in accidents in Chile this year

October 15, 2010 |  1:22 pm

As of today, Oct. 15, 35 miners have died in accidents in Chile this year, reports the Chilean daily La Tercera (link in Spanish), two more than those rescued in the successful operation this week at the San Jose mine.

The paper cites data from Chile's geology and mining service, noting that the 35 deaths occurred in 32 accidents. In the latest, a miner died Thursday in a fall near Valparaiso.

The figure is a bleak counterpoint to the euphoria felt in Chile and worldwide over the 33 miners' spectacular rescue. La Plaza reported Thursday that dozens more have died in mining accidents across Latin America since 2006.

Meanwhile, La Tercera reported, the second miner rescued from the San Jose mine is undergoing a psychological evaluation. Mario Sepulveda had electrified global viewers with a jubilant "Chile!" cheer after emerging from the rescue capsule. Several miners have already been released from the hospital where they were being evaluated, The Times reports, and more are expected to be sent home today.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City