Chile's 'Miracle 33' miners to start souvenir brand

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 30 2012 11:03 AM | Updated as of Jul 30 2012 07:04 PM

SANTIAGO, Chile - The 33 Chilean miners famously rescued from underground nearly two years ago will create a line of memorabilia branded "The Miracle 33" to be sold in the country's airports, a report said Sunday.

"We'll make all kinds of products like mugs, sweatshirts, t-shirts and medals, so that tourists remember us," the first miner to write a message confirming his team was alive in the reservoir, Jose Ojeda, told Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.

The miners said they registered their trademark after catchphrases used by them had been appropriated by other parties.

August 5 will mark the second anniversary of when the walls caved-in and left the miners trapped at their work site in San Jose, in the Atacama Desert.

The 33 remained around 700 meters (2,300 feet) below ground for 69 days.

The fanfare around their plight and eventual rescue -- which was televised internationally -- dissipated in the months after they were brought to safety.

"We had to return to reality," said one of the rescued workers, Pablo Rojas.

Of the 33, some have started new businesses and give motivational talks, while others have returned to mining.

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