Video shows trapped miners healthy and in good spirits

A VIDEO of the 33 miners trapped deep in a Chilean copper mine has been released - showing them to be healthy and in good spirits.

The men, who have been told it could be Christmas before they are rescued, are seen stripped to the waist, standing arm-in-arm, singing the national anthem and yelling "Long live Chile, and long live the miners!"

They made the video with a small camera sent down to them through a small emergency shaft drilled to their emergency shelter in the San Jose mine near Copiapo in northern Chile.

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The men have been trapped 700 metres underground since a landslide on August 5 and were only discovered to be alive on Sunday.

The grainy, night-vision images, will help reassure the families of the men that their loved ones are safe and well.

One man proudly shows how they have organized the living room-sized refuge and areas outside the shelter where they can walk around.

An animated miner shows where the men meet and pray daily and points out the "little cup to brush our teeth".

"We have everything organised," he says.

The few items they have are carefully laid out: a first aid cabinet, shelves holding unidentified bottles, mats in a corner for rest.

As the camera shows a table with dominoes laid out, the tour guide says that "this is where we entertain ourselves, where we play cards".

"We meet here everyday," he adds. "We plan, we have assemblies here everyday so that all the decisions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33."

Many of the miners appeared in the video wearing their hard hats. As the camera pans to them, some flash peace signs, wave and smile.

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"Greetings to my family. Get us out of here soon, please," says one unidentified man.

At one point the footage shows a close-up of a thermometer reading 29.5 degrees Celsius.

The family of one of the miners is suing the mine owners over safety lapses and government inspectors for negligently allowing it to reopen in 2008 following an accident.

The San Esteban mining company has warned them that it is considering filing for bankruptcy and may not even be able to pay salaries owed to the miners when they finally emerge.