Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Americas: Chilean workers begin drilling shaft to free trapped miners

The Associated Press' Bradley Brooks reports:
An enormous drill began preliminary work Monday on carving a half-mile chimney through solid rock to free the 33 men trapped in a Chilean mine, their ordeal now having equaled the longest known survival in an underground disaster. 
The 31-ton drill bored 50 feet into the rock, the first step in the weeklong digging of a "pilot hole" to guide the way for the rescue. Later the drill will be outfitted with larger bits to expand the hole and pull the men through - a process that could take four months. 
The men were trapped Aug. 5 in the San Jose mine in Chile's northern Atacama Desert. Before rescuers dug bore holes to reach them, they survived 17 days without contact with the outside world by rationing a 48-hour supply of food and digging for water in the ground. 
The miners are now being funneled food and chlorine to disinfect the underground water through an "umbilical cord" connecting them to the surface. They've also received vaccinations and rubber boots to help prevent diphtheria and tetanus and a video camera, which they're using to film their injuries so a doctor on the surface can provide advice for spot treatment.


1 comment:

  1. That is a CRAZY story. I'm glad they've found a way to get supplies to these guys. I hope they make it!


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