Bore hole reaches trapped miners
Saturday 18 September 2010
Rescuers have made a breakthrough in their efforts to rescue 33 miners by drilling a bore hole into the cavern where the men are trapped 2,300ft beneath the surface.
The hole will now be widened so that the miners can be pulled to freedom, Ximena Matas, the governor of the Atacama region, said yesterday.
However, officials say the rescue is still more than six weeks away. Workers will now fit a wider bit on the drill and start boring a 26-inch hole that will be wide enough to pull the men to the surface.
That effort will require the miners themselves to help by shifting tonnes of debris that fall through the hole as it is widened.
Three smaller holes that have already been drilled have allowed rescuers to supply the men with food, water, medical supplies and extra air, as well as to provide lines to communicate with relatives and officials on the surface.
On Thursday, the miners celebrated Chile's bicentenary of independence from Spain with a meal of beef and empanadas, and they decorated their underground chamber with plastic Chilean flags. The country's President, Sebastian Pinera, is expected to visit the mine and talk to the miners later today.
The San Esteban mining company, which owns the mine, has pursued bankruptcy protection since the collapse on 5 August and has said it can't afford to pay the men trapped in the San Jose mine.
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...