The 33 men trapped a half mile underground in a Chilean copper mine were just days away from committing mass suicide or engaging in cannibalism when they were contacted by rescue crews, the miners have revealed. The miners will likely spend the rest of their lives telling stories from the experience to their children or friends. What some of the miners told CBS recently, likely won’t be part of the stories the children will hear.
In a recent 60 Minutes interview, Miner Mario Sepulveda said crews made contact with the men just in time, “five or ten days” before they would have resorted to cannibalism.
“Food or no food, I was going to get out of there,” he tells CBS. “I had to think about which miner was going to collapse first, and then I started thinking about how I was going to eat him. I wasn’t embarrassed, I wasn’t scared.”
Victor Zamora, another miner, said the men considered killing themselves with carbon monoxide.
In August 2010, 33 Chilean miners spent 69 days underground in sweltering 86-degree heat before being rescued. In October, over a billion people watched as the men were pulled back to the surface to their families one by one.
Just a few months after the incident, an Argentina-based firm called America Video Films has begun marketing an 87 minute film about the event. According to Variety, Atacama’s 33 was ready for its world premiere less than four months after the miners were lifted from the ground following their near-fatal accident. The movie about the Chilean miners started screening for potential buyers at the Berlin film festival last Friday
“69 days, 2,300 feet (700 metres) underground, one billion people watching,” reads the tag line for the movie poster emblazoned with the sooty faces of the men in helmets, their head lamps illuminated, which Variety ran on its cover.
Film industry trade journal The Hollywood Reporter said that the filming started five days after the men’s dramatic rescue.