Chiles mining minister said that the trapped Chilean miners “could be reached by Saturday.” Preparations are also underway at the drill site to keep family and media from rushing the area. Police are stationed at all the camp entrances and everyone must show their official government passes.
Families have been told that bells will ring and sirens will sound when the drill finally reaches the men.
Engineers are now determining whether they need to line the tunnel with metal to make it smoother for the capsule that will bring the men to the surface. Mining minister Laurence Golborne explained: “If we don’t case the hole, we may have to wait for two, or three, or four days “If we have to start installing the casing it may take between eight to 10 days (to complete the rescue).” At the mine, more pieces have arrived that will help stabilize the giant crane as it hoists them to freedom.
Health Minister Jaime Manalich called on the Chilean public to be patient while the complex process was carried out.
“All the drilling gear on top has to be removed, cranes installed, and the final rescue equipment has to be set up,” the AFP news agency quoted him as saying.