Obama opens White House to Chilean mine rescuers

Associated Press
James Stefanic, operations manager with Geotec Boyles Bros, right, answers question from media, outside the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, following a meeting with President Barack Obama and the Americans involved in the Chilean mine rescue effort. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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President Barack Obama has congratulated officials from NASA and several U.S. companies for their role in rescuing 33 miners trapped underground in Chile.

The miners were rescued on Oct. 14, more than two months after they were marooned by a mine collapse.

Obama planned to deliver a statement to the media in the Rose Garden on Thursday after meeting with the group in the Oval Office. But shortly before the event, the White House cited a schedule change in announcing that Obama's statement had been canceled.

In public comments earlier this month, Obama said the rescue had captivated the world. He also commended the efforts of all involved, including a NASA team that helped design the capsule that was used to bring the miners above ground.

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