Obama hails Chilean president for miners' rescue

Sebastian Pinera told by telephone the miners, Chilean people have "inspired the world"

Published October 14, 2010 11:21PM (EDT)

The White House says President Barack Obama has congratulated the president of Chile on the rescue of the 33 miners who had been trapped underground for more than two months.

Obama told Sebastian Pinera by telephone Thursday that the operation was a tribute not only to the determination of the rescue workers and the government of Chile, but also to the miners themselves and the Chilean people. Obama said they have "inspired the world."

The White House says Pinera thanked Obama, the U.S. government and the American companies and people who helped with the rescue.

The miners enjoyed their first full day of freedom Thursday.

By Associated Press

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Chile Mine Rescue