33 miners could be trapped underground for months at a mine in northern Chile

Thirty three miners trapped deep underground appealed to the Chilean government to free them from their enduring “hell”.

The operation to rescue them could take months after the miners became trapped underground when a mine collapsed in northern chile.

The men have survived on meagre rations since becoming trapped on August 5.

“We are waiting for all Chile to do everything to get us out of this hell,” the group leader Luis Urzua said, according to the AFP news service.

The despairing news that they could be trapped for the rest of the year was being withheld from the miners out of concern for their mental health, said AFP.

Meanwhile a hydraulic bore was preparing to grind a shaft big and deep enough to extract them.

Chilean officials are reportedly appealing to US space agency Nasa for help in supplying the men with nourishment. The situation is similar to the one experienced by astronauts stranded in space for months.

The mining accident again reveals the risks of digging for wealth in dangerous parts of the earth.