Rescue of trapped Chilean miners to begin on Tuesday evening

October 12th, 2010 - 11:32 pm ICT by BNO News  

SANTIAGO, CHILE (BNO NEWS) – The rescue operation to free the 33 trapped miners will begin around 6:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday (2100 GMT), Chilean Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said.

“We hope to conclude this Tuesday, on the 69th day of the miners’ ordeal, with at least one of the miners outside, we are working at maximum speed for it,” Golborne said.

Authorities early said that the rescue operation would be delayed until Wednesday as the rescue team was still working on the construction of the shaft’s base but efforts have advanced quicker than expected.

On Monday, efforts were focused in the testing of the capsule named “Phoenix 1″ which will be used to reach the miners trapped at about 700 meters (2,296 feet) below ground.

So far, rescue crews have successfully sent the “Phoenix 1″ capsule down to 610 meters (2,001 feet). As back up, two more capsules were built in a smaller scale than “Phoenix 1.” In addition, a third driller is about to reach the chamber where the miners are trapped, providing another option if needed.

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