Mining Expert On Chilean Mine Rescue

Miner portraitAn enormous drill began preliminary work Monday at the San Jose Mine in Chile to carve a half-mile chimney through solid rock to free the 33 men trapped in a Chilean mine, their ordeal now having equaled the longest known survival in an underground disaster.  The 31-ton drill bored 50 feet into the rock, the first step in the weeklong digging of a “pilot hole” to guide the way for the rescue. Later the drill will be outfitted with larger bits to expand the hole and pull the men through — a process that could take four months.

The drilling technique that must be used means that up to 4,000 tons of rock and debris will fall down into a large mine shaft near the shelter — but far enough away from the men that they will not be in any danger.  Mining expert Dave Feickert, director of KiaOra, a mine safety consulting firm in New Zealand, who has worked extensively with China’s government to improve dangerous mines there, said “The drill operators have the best equipment available internationally.”

Read more: newsyahoo.com.

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