Countdown to Mine Rescue: Chile Miners Prepare to Be Lifted Into Sunlight

12 10 2010

Rescues Now Expected to Begin at Midnight Tuesday and Could Take Just 12 Hours

15 comments By JEFFREY KOFMAN
Oct. 11, 2010

The steel capsule designed to rescue 33 men deep in a Chilean mine was tested today, and it went so well that engineers said the capsule would be sent back into the earth to make its first rescue at midnight Tuesday and perhaps even earlier.

A source close to the rescue told ABC News that the men could be out in just 12 hours once the operation gets underway.

The miners’ families are counting the final hours. Liliana Ramirez, the wife of Mario Gomez, the oldest miner, said that she is anxious, but happy too. She said that she is “happy that this nightmare is coming to an end.”

The men, excited to see their loved ones, want to look their best. They’ve asked for shampoo and shoe polish. The men who have endured misery few can imagine want to look presentable to their families after waiting so long see them and wondering if they would ever see them again.

As the miners and their families count down the hours, every hour now brings news, but none more important than the word that test of the capsule went without a hitch.

Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said, “This test has been very successful…we are pretty sure that the cage will behave properly as it has been designed during the rescue process. We already saw that there was no movement inside the cage.”

When The Rescue Begins
The capsule leaves nothing to chance. A man riding inside will wear an oxygen mask, his heartbeat and body temperature will be monitored, and he will wear a telephone headset to talk with the rescue team above.

Every second of the miners’ ascent will be monitored by video camera. They will be pulled up one by one for the 2,000-foo ride that is expected to take just 15 minutes.

 

(original post @ http://abcnews.go.com/International/chilean-miners-officials-prepare-escape-shaft-trapped-men/story?id=11847430 )

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