Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Spat over Iran's UN ambassador hampers thawing relations with US

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine in Geneva

    Read more

  • Algeria heads to the polls: ‘This election has nothing to do with us’

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

Americas

'Phoenix' sparks hope for trapped miners

©

Video by Stephen Clarke

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-27

A special capsule designed by the Chilean Navy to help extract 33 miners trapped 700 metres underground arrived at the San Jose mine on Saturday, sparking hope for the men's loved ones and supporters.

AFP - Painted in Chile's national colors of white, blue and red, the rescue capsule dubbed "Phoenix" is the last hope to pull 33 miners trapped deep underground to safety.
   
Built especially for the rescue operation at the Navy's construction sites, the capsule looks like a long, four-meter (13-foot) metallic cigar.
   
It has a 53-centimeter (21-inch) diameter with a cylindrical steel cage that will hoist each man up to the surface 700 meters (2,300 feet) above their underground shelter.
   
Engineers are hoping the very long and narrow case will carry the miners upwards to a new life, much like the phoenix of ancient mythology rose from the ashes to be born anew.
   
"We called it Phoenix because it will be like a rebirth, a new life for the miners," Mining Minister Laurence Golborne told reporters.
   
Despite the long wait until rescuers can begin pulling the men one by one -- by early November at the soonest -- the cage buoyed hopes in the makeshift campsite that sprung up after the August 5 cave-in.
   
"Chi, Chi, Chi, le, le, le. Viva Chile!" the crowd yelled out as it glimpsed the cylinder being unloaded on the site on Saturday.
   
It was the first of three capsules that will be used in the penultimate phase of the rescue, marking the end of a grueling underground ordeal that has already lasted nearly two months.
   
An Austrian-made hoisting system of pulleys and cranes will bring the cage slowly up the rescue shaft.
   
Engineers said each trip will take from one to one-and-a-half hours, with the entire rescue lasting more than 24 hours.
   
Golborne and workers entered the cage to explain the system to the miners' relatives. Some of them even entered the cages as well.
   
Health Minister Jaime Manalich told reporters that before the miners come to the surface, at least two people -- a mine rescue expert and a highly trained paramedic -- will descend to their shelter.
   
They will help each miner negotiate the long ride back up to the surface, he added.
   
The upper white section of the cylinder can be detached using three levers the miner can activate from inside the cage, Manalich explained.
   
Should the miner hit a snag during the ascent, he will be able to lower himself slowly back down to the shelter, with the help of wheels on the sides of the shaft.
   
Equipped with a helmet and gloves, each miner will also have water reserves, food, oxygen and a constant line of communication with rescue workers. Medical experts will monitor his heart rate and breathing constantly.
   
Meanwhile, three drilling machines continued tunneling their way down to the men. "The machines are working normally. There are no problems," said Golborne.
   
Of the three, the Strata-130 offers the earliest chance at a rescue. On Saturday, it reached 175 meters (575 feet) down as it widened an earlier guide shaft to the adequate size for the men.

Date created : 2010-09-26

  • CHILE

    Rescuers reach trapped miners with bore hole

    Read more

  • CHILE

    Multiple plans underway to rescue trapped Chilean miners

    Read more

  • CHILE

    Music, hot meals, and NASA specialists lift miners’ spirits

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)