More than a dozen of the 33 Chilean miners rescued alive last year after more than two months trapped underground reportedly say they can no longer work and would like to take early pensions.
Luis Urzua was shift commander at the time of the mine collapse on Aug. 5 and was credited with helping to keep his men calm and optimistic about their survival.
The 55-year-old miner was quoted by El Mercurio newspaper on Sunday as saying that he and 13 others suffer from either physical or psychological ailments that have made it impossible to start over in the work force.
Interior Ministry adviser Cristian Barra was quoted by the newspaper as saying that President Sebastian Pinera will decide in a month whether to grant 200,000-peso ($412) monthly pensions to each of the 14.
The men's endurance underground after their mine collapsed Aug. 5, 2010 in the northern part of Chile captured the world's imagination.
They survived more time trapped underground than anyone on record.
The effort to rescue them took an international and very public scope with their rescue, by way of a 190-by-54-centimetre metal capsule that winched the men to the surface, broadcast live around the world last October.
The miners underwent physical and psychological exams after their rescue.