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Chile miners face four-month wait for rescue

08-26-2010 10:04 BJT Special Report:Chile Rescues Miners Trapped Underground |

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Rescue work is continuing in Chile to save the 33 miners trapped in a gold mine for 20 days in San Jose. A new machine has arrived to dig a tunnel to help get the miners out.

Chilean officials say they will make every effort to free the trapped miners before Christmas.

They face four months underground surviving on life-supporting supplies delivered through a pipeline before the rescue tunnel is completed.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera vowed not to abandon them in a telephone conversation.

Sebastian Pinera said, "You will not be left alone. We will do everything necessary to reunite you with your families, AUDIO (miners applaud) And, it will take us some time but the important thing now is to do things in a safe way. We really don't want to do anything that will endanger your lives."

Rescue workers have prepared to install a drill to dig an escape shaft for the miners trapped under 700 meters of earth.

Engineers started sending drinking water and medication through plastic pipes to keep the miners alive during the long rescue effort and have set up an intercom.

Family members who have maintained an anxious vigil outside the mine are encouraged to send down notes.

Lius Segovia, Trapped miner's brother, said, "I hope he will tell us with his own writing that everything is OK. The only thing I hope is that it tells me everything is OK, that he doesn't have any broken bones or anything else."

The miners were plunged into darkness three weeks ago when the main shaft of a gold and copper mine collapsed. They are now sheltering in a 50 square meter refuge, waiting for their underground ordeal to end.

By day: Lorries arrive at the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile, with various equipment including a new drilling machine. President Sebastian Pinera today spoke by telephone with some of the 33 men and warned them the rescue mission 'will take some time'

By day: Lorries arrive at the San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile, with various 
equipment including a new drilling machine. President Sebastian Pinera today 
spoke by telephone with some of the 33 men and warned them the rescue 
mission 'will take some time'

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