SAN JOSE MINE, Chile — Drillers neared the lower reaches of a gold and copper mine where 33 men have been trapped for more than two months, preparing Friday for a breakthrough that would unleash a national outpouring of joy.
Engineers were carving through the last 128 feet (39 meters) of rock, taking care to keep the T130 drill from jamming or punching through with too much force, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said.
"We are very close," Golborne said. "It would be very complicated if after all the work we have done ... you lose the hole. We have to be very careful and do it in a controlled way."