Belfast Telegraph

Miner to see life-saving factory site

One of the rescued Chilean miners is set to make a trip to east Belfast — the area that produced the drill bits that saved them.

Willowfield Church is preparing for a visit from the 24th rescued miner early next month.

In association with SAMS Ireland, Willowfield Parish Church, Woodstock Road, invites anyone who would like to hear Jose Henriquez Gonzales’ story to come along. Mr Gonzales will be accompanied by Reverend Alf |Cooper, chaplain to the President of Chile.

The miner was rescued after workers at the Hughes Christensen factory crafted the two vital 28-inch drill bits, some of the last items to roll off the production line at the Castlereagh plant which has now closed down.

The drill bits were a vital part of the rescue plan, which saw the miners being winched from their rocky prison after a cave-in 69 days previously.

The hi-tech hardware was used in a series of moves to free the men and helped cut shafts to |provide air and supplies.

It is understood that the miner will visit the site of the old factory during his visit to Northern Ireland.

The Willowfield Church event will take place on Saturday February 5 at 7.30pm and tickets cost just £3. Guests can taste Chilean food to the accompaniment of traditional music.

Tickets for the ticket-only event are available from Willowfield Church office 90457654 or MICAH Centre 90453041. Further information is available on

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph