SAN JOSE MINE, Chile – Chile is sparing no expense to rescue its 33 trapped miners, mounting three separate drilling efforts to carve escape tunnels through nearly a half-mile of solid rock and collapsed mine shafts. The latest — an oil-well drill so big it takes 40 trucks to carry it — began arriving Friday.
The drill will be nearly 150 feet (45 meters) tall when assembled at the gold and copper mine where the main shaft collapsed Aug. 5. Its huge size has required rescuers to level rocks and lay a concrete platform over an area nearly the size of a football field on the hilltop, where only a dozen trucks at a time have room to unload their cargo.
Relatives of the miners — now stuck underground for 36 days — applauded the caravan's arrival, waving Chilean flags as the trucks rolled past their tents, known as "Camp Hope." The government also has established a 24/7 presence at the mine, providing families with food, shelter and support in the hot days and frigid nights of their Atacama desert vigil.