Workers had asked to leave mine three hours before collapse
[Translation of an article from La Tercera of Santiago, Chile, for October 19, 2010. See original article here.]
by Carlos Verguera and Ivonne Toro
To speak of coincidence and surprises does not fit well with this story. One of the 33 miners, military veteran Juan Illanes, from Chillán, has declared that at 11 in the morning of Thursday, August 5, three hours before the collapse that burried him and his workmates alive for almost 70 days, they notified those in charge at Minera San Esteban that the rumbling in the mine was louder than usual.
And further, according to Illanes they asked for permission to be taken to the surface, which was denied them, specifically by the mine’s manager of operations, Carlos Pinilla.
Illanes’s accusations, made to Congressman Carlos Vilches, a member of the chamber of deputies investigating committee, convinced him to contact several other members of the group to ask that they testify before congress. (more…)