Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Rescuers hope to free Chilean miners by weekend

A relative shows on his mobile phone new images of the trapped miners in Copiapo, Chile (AP)
A relative shows on his mobile phone new images of the trapped miners in Copiapo, Chile (AP)
Miner Mario Sepulveda is trapped in the collapsed San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile (AP)
Trapped miners inside the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile (AP)
A man carries a Chilean flag during a small ceremony marking 60 days since 33 miners became trapped in Chile (AP)
Workers move a capsule that will be used to rescue trapped miners from the collapsed San Jose mine in Chile (AP)
Some of the 33 trapped miners inside the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile (AP)
Men work on a new drill to be used in the rescue of 33 trapped miners at the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile
An image from a new video of some of the 33 trapped miners inside the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile (AP)

There may not be any daylight at the end of their tunnel quite yet, but the 33 men, who have spent two months trapped in a collapsed Chilean mine learned yesterday that they could now be rescued in days.

Engineers drilling through the half mile of rock to the underground chamber where the miners have been living since early August, said yesterday one of their machines has now bored to 587 metres, leaving a mere 160 metres to go.

If the operation proceeds as planned, they will break through to the area containing the men in the next three or four days, meaning that it is "perfectly possible" that they could be out by the weekend, according to Pedro Buttazzoni, the man in charge of the operation.

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