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This Is the Coffin That Will Save the Miners

Illustration for article titled This Is the iCoffin/i That Will Save the Miners

Everything is ready to rescue the Chilean miners trapped 2,296 feet underground in San José. This is the capsule that will take the diggers out. Or like one of them phrased it, "the sarcophagus that'll take the mummies out."

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In fact, the rescue operation has technically started already. The rescue team is now trying the capsules, called Phoenix I, II and III, which are only 21.25 inches in diameter. It will hang from a cable that can lift 54 tons. The first capsule going down will be Phoenix II, which will descend two times before taking out the first miner: Florencio Avalos.

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Illustration for article titled This Is the iCoffin/i That Will Save the Miners

One of the mine engineers at the site, Miguel Fort, says that the rock is in a good state and is likely to remain stable during the operation. I sure hope so. [El Mundo—In Spanish]

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DISCUSSION

2,296 feet is pretty deep. Is decompression an issue or does that only apply to underwater?