Chilean Miners To Help Their Own Rescue

By Marco t'Hoen
Marco t'Hoen
Marco t'Hoen
August 30, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Chilean Minister of Mining Laurence Golborne (L) receives a 'dove', a rocket-shaped metal tube which is used to send supplies to the trapped miners, at the San Jose gold and copper mine in Copiapo, near Santiago on August 29.  (Ariel Marinkovic/Getty IMages)
Chilean Minister of Mining Laurence Golborne (L) receives a 'dove', a rocket-shaped metal tube which is used to send supplies to the trapped miners, at the San Jose gold and copper mine in Copiapo, near Santiago on August 29. (Ariel Marinkovic/Getty IMages)
The 33 miners trapped in a collapsed copper and gold mine in Chile will have to help dig themselves out.

The miners will clear away a few thousand tons of rock with basic clearing equipment, Andres Sougarret, the leading engineer, told The Associated Press.

The miners have been divided into three groups, and when rescuers begin drilling a 26-inch escape tunnel, one team of miners is tasked with safety, protecting the other miners from rocks and debris that fall, and fortifying the surrounding area, according to The Santiago Times.

A second group of miners will distribute supplies sent down in capsules through three small shafts that have been drilled 100 yards from the main shelter.

Medicine, water, food, and amenities like toothbrushes and CD’s are being sent down. Besides supplies, one hole provides the shelter with pumped down compressed cool air to keep the air as healthy as possible.

The third group will take care of the miners health and clean the area.

Since Wednesday the miners have started eating solid food, cereal bars with added protein, and slowly increasing their daily calorie intake to 2,000.

Marco t'Hoen