Trapped Chilean Miners Send Video Love Letter to Loved Ones

This is new video of some of the 33 trapped Chilean miners is a virtual love letter to their loved ones. They speak about their families and their condition in the mine. They say they are doing better now that they have received food. I just heard Fox News say there is a plan to get the miners out in 60 days, rather than the first estimate of 120 days.

Chilean Miners

The main shaft of the mine collapsed on August 5th and all of the men in the mine were able to take refuge inside a shelter. It took 17 days for the outside world to know that the men were alive. According to this Fox News article, this video was a video love letter to family.

The miners will have to aid in their own escape by clearing thousands of tons of rock that will fall as a rescue hole is drilled toward them.

“The miners are going to have to take out all that material as it falls,” Andres Sougarret, Codelco’s head engineer on the operation, told The Associated Press Sunday in a phone interview.

After drilling three small bore holes in recent weeks to create lines of communication with the miners and deliver basic food and medicine, Chile’s state-owned Codelco mining company will begin boring a rescue hole Monday afternoon that will be wide enough to pull the men up through 2,300 feet of earth.

The first step will be to drill a “pilot hole” similar in size to the other three. Then much larger machine cutters will slowly grind through that hole, forcing crushed rock to fall down into the mine shaft area near the trapped men.

Failure to keep the bottom clear of debris could quickly plug the hole, delaying a rescue that officials say could take three to four months.

In all, the trapped miners will have to clear between 3,000 and 4,000 tons of rock, work that will require crews of about a half-dozen men working in shifts 24 hours a day.

The men have basic clearing equipment, such as wheel barrows and industrial-sized battery-powered sweepers, Sougarret said. The hole will likely end up several hundred yards from their living area in the mine’s shelter, giving the men room to maneuver and store the rocks, he added.

Chilean Miners trapped since August 5, 2010