Buried Alive

Chilean Miners Will Be Trapped for 4 Months

A cause for celebration and concern in Chile: 33 miners trapped 2,300 feet below the surface in Chile have been found—but will be stuck there for at least four months. After 17 days underground, rescuers were able to contact the miners with a probe; they sent back a note that they were alive. A hole wide enough for the workers to fit through is being drilled, but the chief engineer for the rescue operation said a bigger drill—and 120 days—was necessary to free the men. To keep the miners alive, slim plastic tubes filled with food and hydration gels, plus cameras and microphones so they can communicate with loved ones, will be sent down the borehole. Since August 5, the miners have been caught in a space the size of a small apartment 4.5 miles inside the mine. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said that though they’ll be trapped for months, "They'll come out thin and dirty, but whole and strong."