Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chilean Miners To Be Rescued In Days

Photo by Eva Salinas, Santiago Times
Excessive pressure on the hammer of the T-130 drill – perforating the so-called “Plan B” escape hole – prompted engineers to stop drilling and change the hammer Monday night at the San José mine in northern Chile, where 33 miners are trapped 700 meters underground.
The Santiago Times reports that, http://www.santiagotimes.cl/news/other/19927-all-eyes-on-chile-as-miner-rescue-expected-within-days, the engineers also decided to reduce the diameter of the hole from 28 inches to 26 inches. This will enable the drill to pass a curve in the tunnel without wearing away the hammer prior to the final stage of drilling.

President Sebastián Piñera said he hoped the miners were out before his scheduled trip to Europe, where he is expected to participate in several official activities beginning Oct. 18. 
Some reports by various other news agencies feel that the miners could be rescued as soon as Saturday.  In any event it looks like these brave miners will be rescued far sooner than the worst estimates.