Chilean miner reluctant to tell all: report

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One of the Chilean miners rescued last week who kept a detailed journal while trapped underground is reluctant to publish his entire account, he told a German magazine.

Just days after the men emerged after a 69-day ordeal in the dark, dank shaft to be greeted by a media frenzy, Victor Segovia told the Thursday issue of news weekly Stern that he had qualms about telling all.

"I am not sure if I want to publish everything," Segovia was quoted as saying.

He told the interviewer that in the rush to quit the mine and ride the rescue capsule to freedom, he forgot his precious journal in the tunnel. A colleague remembered to bring it with him during his own escape.

The writings, which Segovia started soon after realising he was trapped, recount the wretched conditions in the mine.

After a week, the group ran out of cans of tuna fish and suffered from diarrhoea from the dirty water they were drinking.

The men's skin broke out in pimples and rashes, but the physical suffering was mild compared to the psychological trauma they endured, he said.

"I thought I was going to die," he told Stern.

"And I wished it would just happen in my sleep."

He said he feared some of his fellow miners would break down.

"Again and again, someone was crying. Me too. The young did better than those of us who are older. Maybe because we knew what could go wrong," he said.

All but given up for dead, the men survived against the odds on meagre rations for 17 days following an August 5 cave-in before a drill probe miraculously found them.

They ultimately survived more than two months in a tunnel 622 meters (2,041 feet) below the surface of Chile's northern Atacama desert.

Anonymous before, the miners are now household names in Chile and media stars around the world, flooded with requests for interviews.

© 2010 AFP

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