November 22nd, 2010
02:00 PM ET

Video: Miners talk of tensions during ordeal

Editor's Note: Anderson Cooper gives an emotional preview of visit with the Chilean miners in a "CNN: Heroes" exclusive. Watch more of the interview tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET.


Speaking for the first time about some of the more heated moments during 69 days trapped in a Chilean mine, one of the 33 rescued miners told CNN Saturday that food became controversial.

The miners agreed to ration canned fish, sometimes as small as a bottle cap a day, but the issue of eating caused tension, said Juan Illanes, 52, an electrical mechanic and former Chilean serviceman.

"It was a topic that was very, very delicate at the time," Illanes told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

He, four other miners and two of the rescuers spoke of their experiences in a CNN interview.

On other occasions, the miners felt panic. During their first 17 August days in a collapsed mine, the outside world had no contact with the miners, and many thought they were dead.

Even after rescuers made contact with the miners, many days proved difficult as rescue plans suffered setbacks.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Anderson Cooper • CNN Heroes
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