Chilean miners reached by engineers

ITN News

by ITN News

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Sixty-six days after a gold and copper mine in Chile collapsed, trapping 33 miners, a drill has broken through to their underground prison to give them an escape route.

Word of the drill's success prompted cheers, tears and the ringing of bells by families in the tent camp outside the mine in Copiapo.

Some who have kept a vigil since the August 5 disaster ran up a hill where 33 Chilean flags were planted, chanting and shouting with joy as a siren rang throughout "Camp Hope," confirming the breakthrough.

The "Plan B" drill won a three-way race against two other drills to carve a hole wide enough for an escape capsule to pull the miners out one by one.

The rescue team must now decide whether it's more risky to pull the miners through unreinforced rock, or to insert tons of heavy steel pipe into the curved shaft to protect the miners on their way up.