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updated 10/15/2010 5:31:12 PM ET 2010-10-15T21:31:12

Just two of the "los 33" miners remained hospitalized Friday, after 28 were released during the day andas word emerged that the men want to closely guard their story so they can fairly divide the spoils of their media stardom.

That could explain why none of them have spoken publicly at any length or provided any dramatic details of their 69 days trapped a half-mile beneath the Atacama desert.

A daughter of Omar Reygadas, a 56-year-old electrician, said he told her the miners agreed to divide all their earnings from interviews, media appearances, movies or books.

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"He also said we can't say things to the media without their permission," said Ximena Alejandra Reygadas, 37. "He said they need to decide what we can tell the media."

A shift foreman at the San Jose Mine who is close to many of the rescued miners told AP they have hired an accountant to track their income from public appearances and equitably distribute it.

"More than anything, I think the idea is to charge for the rights to everything that's been shown about their personal life, of their odyssey. That way, they're safe," said Pablo Ramirez.

Ramirez, 29, had lowered himself deep into the mine's bowels right after its Aug. 5 collapse in a failed attempt to reach his comrades.

"They're going to be very close to the chest and will speak together as a group," he said, while drinking rum and cola in a Copiapo restaurant.

Ramirez is out of a job with the roughly 360 other San Jose miners now that the government has decided to close the mine as unsafe. And while he said he's got good job prospects as an experienced miner, "los 33" were probably the most in-demand people on the planet.

The two who remain hospitalized were expected to be transferred to other health facilities at some point. Three others were released Thursday.

New details on food rations
Based on new details the miners shared Thursday with their families, the rationing appears to have been even more extreme than previously thought.

"He told me they only had 10 cans of tuna to share, and water, but it isn't true the thing about milk, because it was bad, out of date," Alberto Segovia said after visiting his brother Dario, who worked a jackhammer in the mine.

Other family members were told the tuna amounted to about half a capful from the top of a soda bottle — and that the only water they could drink tasted of oil.

The miners told relatives Thursday their rescue ride was as smooth as a skyscraper elevator. The rescue had been planned meticulously to provide the utmost safety.

But the miners and rescuers decided on Wednesday to discard a few safety measures and the media were never informed. For instance, the plan to monitor the miners' faces for panic with live video on the way up — and to have them in constant two-way communication with rescuers — was jettisoned at the last minute.

Rescuers abandoned both the in-capsule camera and fiber-optic cable that would have had to hang all the way down to the bottom of the 2,040-foot hole.

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The men said they would be fine and just wanted out, said Fabricio Morales, a technician with Micomo, the telecommunications division of the state mining company Codelco that ran the rescue operation.

The cause of the collapse remains under formal investigation, but one senior Codelco official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he's not authorized to be quoted in the media, told the AP that the mine's owners had cut corners for years. "It lacked even a minimal amount of support beams."

Twenty-seven of the miners are suing the owners.

Rescued miner Edison Pena said outside his house Friday that he's intent on seeing that their experience motivates the mining industry to improve worker safety.

"I don't want to be famous, I'm not fooling around. I don't want this to happen ever again, not in my country nor in the world," Pena said.

Other revelations include word that the men joked about cannibalism — but only after they started to get supplies of food.

The U.K.'s Guardian newspaper also reported that the men divided into three different groups and that "fist fights" broke out during disagreements.

Richard Villaroel told the paper that there was an agreement that they would share what food they had after the mine collapsed.

He said their daily ration during the 17 days before a probe reached them from the surface was half a spoonful of tuna or salmon.

Story: First 3 Chilean miners head home from hospital

"We were getting eaten up, as we were working," Villaroel told the newspaper. "We were moving, but not eating well. We started to eat ourselves up and get skinnier and skinnier. That is called cannibalism, a sailor down there said. My body was eating itself up."

Asked if the men had been worried they would have to start eating each other, Villaroel said: "At that moment no one talked about it. But once [help came] it became a topic of joking, but only once it was over, once they found us. But at the time there was no talk of cannibalism."

The Guardian said Daniel Sanderson, a miner who was not among those trapped, said one of "Los 33" told him in a letter that the men "broke into three groups because they were fighting. There were fist fights."

The Associated Press, Reuters and NBC News contributed to this report.

Video: Rescued miners cash in, lash out

  1. Transcript of: Rescued miners cash in, lash out

    AMY ROBACH, co-host: In Chile , the homecomings continue for the 33 rescued miners ; and along with all of the celebrations, new details are emerging about the desperation they faced underground and the pressures they now face above it. NBC 's Kerry Sanders joins us now from Chile . Kerry , good morning.

    KERRY SANDERS reporting: Well, good morning. Two of the miners are still here at the hospital, all the others have gone home, and doctors say that their eyes are adjusting to the sunlight much faster than they expected. But the longer-term issue, they say, will be mental health. Three days after the rescues that stunned a worldwide audience, almost all of the miners are finally at home. Edison Pena , the 12th man out, was one of the first to be released.

    Mr. EDISON PENA:

    SANDERS: While in the hospital, he complained about the media attention. 'Some are bothering my family,' Pena said. On Friday, Pena sought out the cameras, claiming the miners ' concerns about safety were ignored.

    Mr. PENA:

    SANDERS: 'The employer,' Pena said, 'always cares for his money. His money and then what happens with the worker? What happens with the workers? No. Just go in.' All 33 men are suing the owners of the mine. And despite one report of fistfights underground, the miners appear to be closer than ever. Agreeing, one daughter said, to pool all their earnings from interviews, appearances, books, and movie offers and to divide them equally. The price for telling their story, $20 million. Fermine Guararo , whose father-in-law Mario Gomez is the oldest miner, spoke up in the miners ' defense. Saying, 'No one has suffered as they have. There's no amount of money for that.' Chile 's health minister said most will need psychological supervision and possibly medication.

    Mr. JAIME MANALICH (Chilean Health Minister): We are to prepared to stay with them and to work at least in the next six months supporting them.

    SANDERS: Some of the men, like Richard Villarroel , never expected to ever reach the surface. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal he said, "We were waiting for death. We were wasting away. We were so skinny. I lost 26 pounds. I was afraid of not meeting my baby, who is on the way." In the hospital, Jose Enriquez looked to the future. 'I think I have to rest,' he said, 'and then take back my life.' Enriquez now has a contract to go back to work in another mine, but first, he's taking a vacation. And they have been offered some free vacations around the world, in the Mediterranean, in the Greek Isles , to go see soccer teams Real Madrid and Manchester United play, and one of the miners , who is an Elvis fan, has been offered a free vacation to Graceland . And Amy , who could pass that up?

Photos: Rescue

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  1. Relatives of the 33 Chilean miners celebrate after the rescue of the last miner in Copiapo, Chile, on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The 33 miners had been trapped 700 meters underground since Aug. 5. (Ian Salas / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Rescue workers hold a sign reading "Mission Accomplished Chile" after the last of the 33 trapped miners, Luis Urzua, was lifted from the mine in the Fenix 2 capsule Wednesday. (TVN CHILE) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Chileans celebrate after the last miner was rescued in Copiapo, on Wednesday. The extraordinary two-month survival story many called a 'miracle,' triggered wild celebrations. (Mariana Bazo / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Chilean trapped miners gather inside the San Jose mine as the rescue operation starts in Copiapo on October 13, 2010, in this handout photo by the Chilean navy. (Armada De Chile / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. The last miner to be rescued, Luis Urzua, who is credited with organizing the miners to ration food and save themselves, celebrates next to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, at right, at the end of the rescue operation at San Jose mine in Copiapo, Wednesday. (Ho / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Chilean trapped miner Luis Urzua, right, who was shift leader when the San Jose mine collapsed in early August, poses next to a rescuer before the start of the operation to hoist them to safety from the mine in Copiapo on October 13, in this handout photo from the Chilean navy. (Armada De Chile / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. People celebrate the end of the successful rescue operation to free 33 trapped miners from the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday. (Martin Mejia / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Miner Franklin Lobos, a former professional soccer player, receives a ball as a gift from Chile's President Sebastian Pinera after Lobos became the 27th miner to be rescued from the San Jose mine. (Ho / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Esteban Rojas, 44, kneels in prayer after stepping out from the rescue capsule and becoming the 18th miner to be rescued on Wednesday at the San Jose mine. (Hugo Infante / Chilean Government via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Raul Bustos, the 30th miner to be rescued, is carried away by stretcher. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Franklin Lobos greets a relative after being rescued from the San Jose mine. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Roxana Gomez, daughter of rescued miner Mario Gomez, cries as she watches the rescue of her father on a TV screen at the relatives camp outside the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday. (Natacha Pisarenko / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Miner Alex Vega reacts show off his t-shirt after being rescued from the mine near Copiapo, Chile on Wednesday. (Hugo Infante / Chilean Government via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Relatives of Chilean miner Victor Zamora watch a TV broadcast of his rescue operation taking place at the San Jose mine. (Ian Salas / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. The oldest of the trapped miners, Claudio Mario Gomez, 59, celebrates as he becomes the ninth to exit the rescue capsule on Wednesday, near Copiapo, Chile. (Chilean Government via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Roxana Gomez, center, daughter of miner Mario Gomez, and Maria Segovia, right, sister of trapped miner Dario Segovia, react while watching the rescue operations on TV. (Natacha Pisarenko / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Miner Claudio Yanez applauds as medics carry him away on a stretcher after his rescue from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine early Wednesday. (Hugo Infante / Chilean government via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Miner Osman Araya, right, greets his wife, Angelica Ancalipe, early Wednesday, moments after he was rescued from the collapsed mine where he had been trapped with 32 others for more than two months. (Hugo Infante / Chilean government via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. People watching a large screen in a public square in Copiapo celebrate as Mario Sepulveda becomes the second miner to reach the surface. (Mariana Bazo / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Miner Mario Sepulveda celebrates after emerging from the rescue capsule. (Hugo Infante / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. People watching television screens in Copiapo celebrate as they watch the first miner to be rescued, Florencio Avalos, emerging safely. (Dario Lopez-mills / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera embraces rescued miner Florencio Avalos, left, after his rescue. (Jose Manuel De La Maza / Chilean / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. The capsule that is being used to bring the trapped miners to the surface is moved into position at the start of the operation. (David Mercado / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, center, observes as the rescue capsule is lowered into the shaft for its final test. (Hugo Infante / Gov. Of Chile / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Miners greet rescuer Manuel Gonzalez after he arrives at the base of the shaft. (TVN CHILE) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Relatives and friends of the trapped miners celebrate while watching the rescue of Florencio Avalos on a television screen at a camp outside the mine. (Natacha Pisarenko / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. A man clasps his hands together as if in prayer as he watches the rescue operation on a large screen in Copiapo. (Mariana Bazo / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: Relatives of the 33 Chilean miners celebrate after the arrival of Luiz Urzúa, the last miner of the group,
    Ian Salas / EPA
    Above: Slideshow (27) Rescue brings joy to families and nation - Rescue
  2. Image: Relatives of trapped miner
    Natacha Pisarenko / AP
    Slideshow (40) Rescue brings joy to families and nation - Cave in
  3. Image: Relatives of trapped miner
    Natacha Pisarenko / AP
    Slideshow (40) Chilean mine collapse

Gallery: Miner profiles, first moments of freedom

Read about each of the 33 miners as they are rescued.

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