Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Mali: Jihadist group announces death of french hostage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Tutu cautions ANC: South African peace laureate criticizes ruling party

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clamping down on jihad propaganda online

Read more

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukrainians turn Russian 'evidence' into meme

Read more

FOCUS

Copenhagen seeks to decriminalise use of cannabis

Read more

FACE-OFF

French president's advisor resigns: A new blow for François Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Films as plays, plays as films and TV at the cinema

Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • UN: Millions of Syrians desperately need aid

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

  • French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal has died, Islamists say

    Read more

  • 'Pope-mania' hits John Paul II's Polish hometown

    Read more

  • French actress Catherine Deneuve to sell €4 million château

    Read more

  • Chelsea, Atletico draw 0-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch offensive in the east after politican 'tortured'

    Read more

  • Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

    Read more

  • New French film tackles grisly anti-Semitic murder

    Read more

Americas

Miners prepare for rescue

©

Video by Alexis MASCIARELLI

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-12

Rescue teams will begin the evacuation of 33 trapped Chilean miners at midnight on Tuesday, local time, Chilean authorities have announced after engineers successfully tested a specially designed rescue capsule.

AFP - Chilean officials are "just hours" from starting a historic operation Tuesday to rescue 33 miners trapped underground in Chile for more than two months, Chilean Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said.
  
"We are just hours from beginning this process. But we will only do it when it is safe to do so," he told reporters at the site of the pending operation, in the San Jose mine in northern Chile.
  
Golborne would not give an exact starting time, saying only that the rescue was expected to begin late Tuesday.
  
"We will start as soon as we can," once last-minute tests were completed, he said.
  
The minister did not confirm another official's statement to AFP that the rescue would begin at 8:00 pm (2300 GMT) Tuesday, four hours earlier than an initial forecast of midnight (0300 GMT Wednesday).
  
"It's fairly certain that we can start the rescue today at 8:00 pm," Carlos Vilches, the legislative representative for the Copiapo region where the mine is located, said.
  
"It was within our planning to move things forward if the (preparatory) stages were completed in advance. This is what happened," Vilches said.
  
Originally, officials had thought it would take until Christmas to get the miners out.
  
But the drilling of a rescue tunnel 622 meters (2,041 feet) deep to reach the gallery where the miners were trapped was completed last weekend, well ahead of time.
  
Since then, tests of the tunnel have been successfully completed and all looked set to slowly bring the men up, one by one. The last of them was expected to be saved by late Thursday.
  
Officials were increasingly confident that they had everything prepared to begin earlier.
  
"We hope nothing will go wrong. We feel very well prepared," Golborne said, speaking in English to some of the 2,000 international journalists who have turned up to cover the rescue.
  
He explained that the rescue would begin with one rescue worker being lowered down the shaft in the specially built cage that would haul up the miners one by one.
  
One of the miners would then be lifted to the surface in the cage, which would subsequently descend with another rescue worker.
  
They will continue to alternate until a total of five rescue personnel were in the tunnel where the miners have been trapped for 68 days.
  
Golborne said each rotation of the cage would take around an hour: a few minutes to strap the miner into the contraption, an ascent that would take 10-15 minutes, and then dropping the cage again down the shaft, which would take 25-30 minutes.
  
The five rescuers would be the last to be brought to the surface.
  
The 32 Chileans and one Bolivian were trapped in the San Jose mine in northern Chile on August 5, when its upper galleries collapsed.
  
They were detected alive 17 days later, triggering the frantic rescue operation in which the government has spared no expense.
  
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera was to arrive at the mine Tuesday to oversee the rescue and, as he told reporters, to "give support to the families" of the miners.

Date created : 2010-10-12

  • CHILE

    Operation to rescue 33 Chilean miners enters final stage

    Read more

  • CHILE

    Drill reaches trapped Chilean miners

    Read more

  • CHILE

    'Phoenix' sparks hope for trapped miners

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)