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Capsule arrives to rescue Chile miners

09-26-2010 19:02 BJT Special Report:Chile Rescues Miners Trapped Underground |

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The first of three rescue capsules specially built to lift out the Chilean miners has arrived at the site. Two other rescue devices are expected to be delivered next week. The 33 miners have been trapped for more than 50 days.

The man-sized capsule will be used to lift the miners out one by one, immediately after the rescue holes being drilled to reach them are wide enough. The government says that should happen by early November or earlier if all goes well.

Chile's Mining Minister Laurence Golborne and miners' relatives have tried out the capsule. It is a 420-kilogram tube made of steel mesh and sheets, big enough to hold one person.

Trapped miner's brother Alberto Segovia said, "I was imagining that I was my brother coming out of the mine. I am very excited about this."

Chile's Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said, "You can stand in it relatively comfortably and you can stay in there for 10 to 15 minutes without any inconvenience."

The structure is nearly three meters tall on the outside. Inside, the space is about 2 meters high and about 53 centimetres across.

The bottom of the capsule holds three tanks of compressed air. The Minister of Health says it allows breathing for about 90 minutes.

Chile's Health Minister Jaime Manaligh said, "It is a very important piece of engineering, which is another accomplishment in the rescue process."

A microphone inside will allow each miner to stay in touch with those inside and outside the mine while being hoisted up.

Manalich says that in an emergency, such as the capsule getting jammed, the bottom can be opened so the miner can be lowered back down by cable.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CNTV

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