Rescuers to use ‘capsules’ to free trapped miners

THE first of three rescue capsules specially built to lift out 33 Chilean miners trapped since early August arrived at the mine.

Two back-up rescue devices constructed at Chile’s naval shipyard are expected to be delivered next week.

The man-size capsule will be used to pull the miners out one by one once one of the three rescue holes being drilled reach the men.

The government said that should happen by early November or earlier if all goes well.

Mining minister Laurence Golborne showed off the first capsule to relatives of the trapped miners.

Golborne and about a dozen family members tried out the capsule, a 924-pound tube made of steel mesh and sheets that is big enough to hold one person.

Carolina Lobos, the 25-year-old daughter of trapped miner Franklin Lobos, said the device seemed very small and confining when she first saw it. But after trying it out, she called it comfortable.

“It’s very exciting,” she added.

A microphone inside will allow each miner to stay in touch with those inside and outside the mine while being pulled up, Manalich said.

In an emergency, such as the capsule getting jammed, the bottom can be opened with levers inside so the miner can be lowered back down by cable.


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