Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Now Drilling Begins in The Chilean Mine Rescue

The brave men underground in the Chilean Mine Cave-in will have to have lots of patience and stamina to face the challenges ahead. The rescue efforts are starting up and could take months to complete, and keeping their spirits up in that time becomes a priority. More on those efforts in the article below.
   . . . June


Drilling Begins in Chile Mine Rescue
Published: August 31, 2010  By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

"SAN JOSE MINE, Chile (AP) -- The effort to save 33 Chilean men trapped deep in a mine is an unprecedented challenge, mining safety experts said Tuesday. It means months of drilling, then a harrowing three-hour trip in a cage up a narrow hole carved through solid rock.

If all of that is successful, the freed men will emerge from the earth and ''feel born again,'' said an American miner who was part of a group dramatically rescued in 2002 with similar techniques. But that rescue pulled men from a spot only one-tenth as deep."

''They're facing the most unusual rescue that has ever been dealt with,'' said Dave Feickert, director of KiaOra, a mine safety consulting firm in New Zealand that has worked to improve China's dangerous mines. ''Every one of these rescues presents challenging issues. But this one is unique.''

First, engineers must use a 31-ton drill to create a ''pilot'' hole from the floor of the Atacama Desert down 2,200 feet (700 meters) to the area in the San Jose mine where the men wait.

Then, the drill must be fitted with a larger bit to carve out a rescue chimney that will be about 26 inches (66 centimeters) wide -- a task that means guiding the drill through solid rock while keeping the drill rod from snapping or getting bogged down as it nears its target.

Finally, the men must be brought up one at a time inside a specially built cage -- a trip that will take three hours each. Just hauling the men up will itself -- if there are no problems -- take more than four days.

''Nothing of this magnitude has happened before; it's absolutely unheard of,'' said Alex Gryska, a mine rescue manager with the Canadian government.

Read More . . .

Monday, August 30, 2010

Trapped Chilean Miner Proposes To His Sweetheart

This is about as romantic as it gets! With the world watching, Esteban Rojes, buried deep underground in the collapsed Chilean mine, scribbled his proposal on a scrap of paper. “When I get out, let’s buy the dress and we’ll get married.”

Of course, the delighted bride-to-be- Jessica said "YES"
   . . . June

Trapped Chilean miner proposes to sweetheart
Mumbai Mirror: Posted On Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 04:23:35 AM
One of the 33 Chilean miners stuck deep underground awaiting rescue has popped the question to his childhood sweetheart in a handwritten note.

Romantic Esteban Rojas, 44, scribbled his proposal on a scrap of paper from where he is buried 700 metres underground.

In the note to Jessica Ganiez, he wrote: “When I get out, let’s buy the dress and we’ll get married.”

Trapped miners are receiving handwritten notes sent to them through three small bore holes.

On Sunday night, a delighted Jessica, 43, spoke of her joy at finally being asked to tie the knot after 25 years together. Speaking to Daily Mirror, she said: “I thought he was never going to ask me. We have talked about it before, but he never asked me. I think it is a good idea.”

She added: “I have tried to hint at it many times, but it never happened. He always said getting married is a once in a lifetime thing and he would ask me when the time is best. Obviously, what has happened has made him do it.”

The couple are registered civil partners but have never had a church wedding. Now Jessica has told friends and family she will set up a wedding gift register with a fridge and a cooker at the top of the list.

This week Jessica, who began dating Esteban in her teens, will get to speak him on the phone for the first time after a communication link was set up Sunday.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

The Story of One Chili Mine Disaster Family

There are many stories associated with the Chili Mine disaster. Each of the trapped miners has a family waiting for him, but this one family have already had a disaster behind them. 

Read their story in the article below.
   . . . June

Chilean family survives quake, faces mine collapse
By BRADLEY BROOKS, Associated Press Writer Bradley Brooks, Associated Press Writer

COPIAPO, Chile – Carola Narvaez breathed in the Atacama Desert's cold dawn air and slowly began to exhale the story of how her family survived a devastating earthquake and worked to rebuild their lives — only for her husband to end up trapped deep inside a Chilean mine.

A tale of two disasters, Narvaez's account embodies the challenges still faced by the poor in Chile despite two decades as Latin America's economic darling. It is a story of incredible misfortune, unwavering faith and a love she said has only been strengthened by adversity.

Narvaez's husband, Raul Bustos, is a heavy-machinery mechanic whose skills have always been in demand. For years he has made a living repairing the equipment that rips copper, the lifeblood of Chile's economy, out of the earth, or helping build massive ships in ports along the nation's 4,000-mile (6,400-kilometer) coastline.

Six months ago Friday, the family was living in the port city of Talcahuano, 300 miles (500 kilometers) south of the capital, where Raul was working for Chilean shipbuilder Asmar.

Like most Chileans, the couple were sound asleep when one of the most powerful earthquakes registered in a century struck the central coast Feb. 27.

What the earthquake did not knock down, the tsunami it triggered washed away. While the family's home survived, ships in Asmar's yards were pushed into the street and the builder's operations destroyed.

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Trapped Chilean Miners Face a Very Tough Ordeal

Being a miner has to be a hard enough job - going down into a mine, but when something like this happens, they're faced with a prolonged stay underground. Miners train for a lot of things, but it's hard to prepare for something like this. The article below tells more about their plight
    . . June

Trapped Chilean Miners Face a Tough Psychological Ordeal - Yahoo! News:

There's almost nothing about the plight of the Chilean miners trapped beneath nearly half a mile of rock in the Atacama Desert that doesn't horrify us. There's the crowding - 33 men confined in a 600-sq.-ft. safety chamber smaller than a one-bedroom apartment. There's the heat - a stagnant 90 degrees F relieved only by a thin trickle of fresh air that makes it down through a narrow ventilation pipe. There's the gloom - a near total blackness relieved only by the flashlights on the men's helmets. Worst of all, there's the calendar: the miners face up to four more months of such confinement before a rescue tunnel can be drilled and they can be pulled to safety. That kind of ordeal, we say, would drive any of us nuts - and we're right; it probably would.

Live entombment holds a particular terror for all human beings, and miners are no exception. They may habituate themselves to darkness and heat and very tight spaces, but when the system breaks down - when there's no prospect of re-emerging into the light after a 10-hour shift - their minds can break too. And the longer they're below, the worse the damage may be. (See how the miners survived the first 17 days of their ordeal.)

"Miners train for a lot of things, but it's hard to prepare for something like this," says Dennis O'Dell, director of occupational safety and health for the United Mine Workers of America and a veteran of 20 years in the mines himself. "They're taught first to have a route of escape. It's only when that fails that you have to think of taking shelter."

Chilean officials are being roundly criticized for the shabby state of the mine and the poor safety record that led to the Aug. 5 collapse - but they're also getting a lot of kudos for the way they've responded since, particularly the attention they've paid to the emotional welfare of the imprisoned men and their families. Ever since the miners were located after a 17-day search of the maze of subterranean shafts, officials have been reaching out to psychologists, family counselors and even NASA doctors, who know better than most about how people endure long periods of confinement far away from loved ones.

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