Trapped miners celebrate Chilean independence

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From half a mile under the ground, dozens of trapped Chilean miners have celebrated the bicentennial of their country's independence day.

The South American nation held parades and invited foreign heads of state to share the historic occasion.

All but one of thirty-three miners are Chilean and government and mining officials wanted to be sure to include the men in the festivities.

Even lone Bolivian miner Juan Carlos Mamani thanked the president.

"I sent greetings to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. Thank you for helping us in this very difficult time for us here inside the mine. We appreciate your help very much," he said.

The San Jose gold mine collapsed six weeks ago, trapping the miners half a mile underground.

On a video, the men can be seen chanting "Chile!" and dancing with the national flag.

Relatives outside the mine were moved by the images.

"It was just as emotional as when we raised the flag out here, just as emotional to see them dance to the flag and raise our patriotic flag together to all the comrades below, independent of their being 700 metres down below. It was very emotional for all of us who are living through this," said Carolina Lobos whose father is trapped.

The men enjoyed a special menu prepared by chefs at the San Jose mine so that they could celebrate the national holiday.

In one of the most challenging mining rescues ever, engineers are boring successively wider holes using three drills to free them. The men are not expected to be freed until late November.