Rescue Of Chilean Miners To Begin Wednesday

After the drill reached the trapped Chilean miners, work began on fortifying the rescue shaft with steel. With that almost done, officials are now saying that the miners will be pulled out on Wednesday in a 48-hour effort.

There was discussion on whether to line the entire rescue shaft with steel, part of the rescue shaft or even none of it. After inspecting the shaft with video, officials decided that only the first 315 feet (96m) needed to be reinforced with steel, the lower portion of the shaft is rock solid. How will they line the tunnel?

The plan is to insert 16 sections of half-inch(1.27 centimeter)-thick steel pipe into the top of the hole, which curves like a waterfall at first before becoming nearly vertical for most of its descent into a chamber deep in the mine.

If they had decided to line the entire shaft, it'd take an extra week to start the rescue effort. Hopefully, with the method they chose everything still works out. The rescue effort begins Wednesday and should last 48 hours to rescue all 33 miners. [SF Gate]