Monday, August 23, 2010

33 Chilean Miners Await Rescue

One of the 33 trapped miners awaiting rescue, which could take up to 4 months. 33 miners trapped deep underground in a mine in Chile will need to spend the next four months participating in their own rescue before being pulled out by rope, it emerged today.

Rescue workers were tonight set to begin lowering capsules of glucose, hydration gels, liquid nutrients, communication equipment and medicine down a 2,257ft bore hole to the bottom of the San José mine, where the men have been trapped inside a mine shaft for the last 18 days. The rescue work continued as questions began to emerge about the safety record of the mine, with relatives asking why it was allowed to operate.

The men's miraculous tale of survival was communicated to the world yesterday when they attached a note to a probe sent into the shaft. It read: "All 33 of us are well inside the shelter."

The news, confirmed by the Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera, prompted celebrations across the country and jubilant scenes on the surface of the mine, where the men's relatives had established a week-long vigil as they awaited signs of life.

Officials have described the bore hole – which is just 8cm wide – as an "umbilical cord" for the miners. It will attempt to keep them healthy while officials begin drilling a far bigger hole as an escape route for the men, who are trapped in a shelter around 52 sq metres – the size of a small apartment. Rescuers also plan another shaft to ensure ventilation for the miners, who are thought to be enduring temperatures as high as 32C.

Widening the existing hole is also an option, although officials said excavating the rescue tunnel – which will be around 65cm wide – would take between three and four months.

Read more and watch the video.

Note:  I decided to post this, as it is an example of the human strength of will.  They have already survived many days and those miners must survive for the next few months of rescue efforts.  Oxygen, food and water aren't all that is necessary to do so.  One must remember that these men are entombed, deep underground.  It will take courage, faith and a tremendous will to live, to survive their long ordeal. 
Our prayers are with them...

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