Thirty-three Chilean miners have been trapped 2300 feet underground in a copper and gold mine in Copiapo, Chile since August 5th, 2010. In all this time, a wife has had a baby, goods have been delivered through tubes to the miners, and spirits have remained amazingly upbeat.
Originally, it was thought that the process of rescue, through very careful drilling, could take until December 2010 around Christmas time, but authorities have become more optimistic and are now saying that early November may be more accurate. Three drills have been “work[ing] around the clock to punch a man-size shaft through half a mile of rock into the cavern where the 33 men have been holed up…” And so far, so good.
The Copiapo Regional Hospital has prepared itself for the rescue of the thirty-three miners, and has really been ready since day one. As soon as the miners are freed, alarms will sound at the hospital and town. Initially, the miners will be looked at quickly at a set-up “field” hospital at the mine site, and then helicopters from the military will be ready to grab the miners and take them directly to the hospital which is about a twenty minute or less ride.
Doctors are not sure if the miner’s eyesight will be impaired from being underground for so long. They also worry that some of the miner’s will say they are fine and want to go directly home to see their families without getting checked out, which is necessary. The hospital actually built a brand new ward that was finished right before the mine collapse. Now that wing awaits these thirty-three brave men.
“Cage-like capsules” will start being built soon so that when the drilling is through, these capsules can carry the miners out of the mine to safety. Hopefully this wall all come to fruition soon.