Chilean president says trapped miners could be rescued before Oct. 15

10:08, October 05, 2010      

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Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said Monday that he hopes the 33 miners trapped in a copper mine for nearly two months be rescued before Oct. 15.

"We are close to get them out and I hope that the miners be rescued before I travel to Europe on Oct. 15," Pinera told local radio, adding that technicians have estimated the resuce operations could be completed in the second half of October.

Pinera said for him "it is very important to share that moment, not only with the 33 miners, trapped since Aug. 5, but also with their relatives and Chilean people."

"It would be a news taking hope and joy to the whole world."

At the moment, the so-called Plan B drilling machine has drilled 428 meters deep underground. It has to reach 702 meters deep to get to the place where the miners are. The Plan B drills 1.5 to 2 meters per hour.

According to rescue chief Andre Sougarret, when the Plan B reaches the bottom of the mine, it will be decided if the tunnel's walls need to be reinforced or not. This would take about four days.

Source: Xinhua


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