12 Sep 2010

Trapped Chile miners allowed cigarettes

4:20 pm on 12 September 2010

Miners trapped deep underground in Chile for more than a month have been given permission to smoke.

The BBC reports that the 33 miners were told they could light up after the ventilation system was improved.

They will be sent two packets of cigarettes a day through a supply tube to share between them.

When they were found alive on 22 August after 17 days underground some of the miners were desperate for a smoke.

But until now they have had to make do with nicotine patches and gum sent to them through a supply tube.

The rescue operation has run into problems in recent days.

Both of the drills being used to reach the men broke down, one of them has now been fixed, but the other is still out of action.

A third, more powerful, drill is being assembled at the mine head, but it is not due to begin working for another 10 days.