COPIAPO, Chile — Rescue efforts advanced considerably Tuesday as a third bore-hole prepared to break through to the miners, and a huge machine arrived from central Chile to carve out a tunnel just wide enough for the miners to be pulled out one-by-one. That machine won't begin drilling for several days.
After parceling out tiny bits of food and drinking water carved from the mine floor with a backhoe for 18 days, the miners were getting glucose and re-hydration tablets to restore their digestive systems. Capsules carrying oxygen also were sent down through a six-inch (15 centimeter) bore hole to help the men survive the hot, stuffy, humid conditions in the lower reaches of the gold and copper mine.
The bore holes also will be used to lower communication lines and to provide ventilation, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said.