After fears were communicated regarding the four-month rescue plan for the 33 trapped miners in Chile, officials were ready last night to approve an expedited drilling plan. This new plan could free the men in a couple of weeks allowing the Chilean government to remain hopeful.
The new plan was devised after President Sebastian Pinera demanded quicker action and has set a deadline of September 18th. This date marks the bicentennial anniversary of Chile’s independence from Spanish colonial rule. Although it may be nearly impossible to free the miners by this date, the second plan with a two month timeline has been put in place by a major commercial drilling company. The new plan consists of widening one of the three narrow boreholes through the use of a special tool. These three boreholes are the only option the miners have to communicate with the outside world. The current plan would require the time-consuming drilling of a new shaft to reach the trapped miners. If this new method works, it would be a much quicker alternative. Currently, clean clothes, food and drink are being transported to the men whose spirits remain miraculously high. Yesterday, Pope Benedict urged the men to stay calm and was praying for their timely rescue along with people all over the world.
The miners have been trapped 2,300 ft underground since August 5th when the cave-in took place. The copper and gold mine is located in the Atacama Desert 500 miles north of the Chilean capital of Santiago. Let’s cross our fingers for a happy ending.