WASHINGTON - (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obamahas congratulated the president of Chile on the rescue of the 33miners who had been trapped underground for more than two months.

Obama told Sebastian Pinera by telephone Thursday that theoperation was a tribute not only to the determination of the rescueworkers and the government of Chile, but also to the minersthemselves and the Chilean people. Obama said they have "inspiredthe world."

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

The miners enjoyed their first full day of freedom Thursday.

For footage of the trapped Chilean miners being rescued, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.

Rescue of Chilean miners progressing quicklyRescue of Chilean miners under way