By Jan-Uwe Ronneburger
Santiago (dpa) – The start of drilling for a rescue shaft to reach
33 trapped Chilean miners was delayed until Monday because technical
preparations had yet to be finished, the head of the rescue work said.
They included reinforcing and settling the drill, Andre Sougarret
said Saturday, the day the drilling was to have begun.
An additional motor for the drill was to be delivered from Germany
Sunday at the copper and gold mine near San Jose de Copiapo in the
Atacama Desert. The 15-ton motor was to speed up the drilling of the
66-centimetre-wide, 700-metre-deep shaft, which was expected to take
three to four months.
The miners have been trapped since August 5 when a tunnel
collapsed at the mine, located about 700 kilometres north of Santiago.
Rescue workers only determined they were still alive a week ago.
Since then, the miners have received food, water, medicine and news
from their relatives through a narrow tube as officials redoubled
their efforts to get them out.
They were also considering enlarging the tiny tunnel that is being
used to supply the miners because it could shorten the rescue time to
The miners have put up a brave front in the videos and other
messages they have sent to the surface. Five were suffering from
depression, but Health Minister Jaime Manalich said Saturday that
they had overcome it.