Sixty-five days after the mine's collapse, officials announced the drill had reached the miners as sirens blasted through the site to signal the achievement. Still, despite the day's success, rescueworkers continue to face tough decisions and hard work to get the men out of the mine. "We have not yet rescued anyone and there is much ground to cover," cautioned the mining minister, who also toldreporters that the families of the miners "are aware of the process still expected."Later in the day, Golborne said he believes workers could begin to hoist the miners up by Wednesday. The rescueoperation is likely to take around two days, he said, which would mean all 33 men could be pulled to safety by Friday. Also Saturday, the miners successfully set off explosives in the mine to widen therescue shaft through which they will be brought, Golborne said.
Mine engineers decided to encase just the top part of the shaft with steel tubing to prevent rockfalls and further collapse during theextraction process. Previously, they had thought they might need to encase the whole thing -- a process which would have delayed the rescue. Rescue crews have been drilling three separate wider holes tosend down the rescue capsule and hoist the men to the surface. Those rescue attempts have been labeled Plans A, B and C. Brandon Fisher, owner of the Pennsylvania Company that provided and oversawthe use of drilling bits for the Plan B team, felt a "huge sense of relief and joy" and noted that the success wasn't "in the bag until we were through."
"This project was unbelievably challenging,"said Fisher, whose company, Center Rock Inc., aided in the rescue of nine miners who were trapped for more than four days after the 2002 collapse of the Quecreek Mine, also in Pennsylvania.
After the2,300-foot hole in Chile is secure, materials and equipment will be brought in so that the rescue capsule -- dubbed the Phoenix -- can be lowered into the mine. Then, authorities will lower a doctor...
Leer documento completo
Regístrate para leer el documento completo.