News & Politics

Drill Reaches Trapped Chilean Miners

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A rescue drill has made contact with the 33 miners trapped underground for over two months, the New York Times is reporting. A giant drill finished creating a hole through which to rescue the miners, though decisions must still be made about how much to enforce the walls before bringing the men up. Still, it was quite a scene in Chile on Saturday morning:

The powerful drill twisted and pounded its way through the abrasive volcanic rock to create a rescue hole for the miners to be hauled 624 meters to the desert surface. The schoolhouse bell began ringing at Camp Hope, the makeshift commune here where families have been living since the mining collapse on Aug. 5, and the large crowd watching the operation began chanting “Viva Chilean miners!” and singing the national anthem.

The desert camp could hear the miners below celebrating. “We opened some bottles of Champagne — not for drinking, just to celebrate,” said one man.

However, there are many safety precautions left to consider, including the fact that even lining the hole to make it more secure could present a problem if the pipes they use fall. The miners at the bottom may also be forced to used dynamite to widen the entrance to the path so “Phoenix,” the rescue capsule can fit. It’s not going to be easy and it’s going to take a long time:

The rescue hole is only a little more than two feet wide and it is not even straight, which could create potential snags as the capsule shimmies up, carrying one man at a time.

Friends and family — but the whole world, really — awaits with bated breath.

Drill Reaches Trapped Miners in Chile, but Risks Remain [NYT]