Chile To Dig Escape Shaft, Prep Miners For Long Haul

Engineers prepared on Tuesday to install a big drill to rescue 33 miners trapped for 19 days deep in a Chilean mine, and will send down games to help them cope with a wait that could last until Christmas. The rescue crews began sending hydration gel and medication through a narrow bore hole on Monday to keep the miners alive during the long rescue effort and set up an intercom. To avoid hurting morale, officials have not yet told the miners how much longer they may be underground. Engineers must now build a concrete platform and erect the drill, which will bore a shaft 2,300 feet (700 metres) straight down around 2 feet (62 cm) in diameter, and plan to use a pulley to lower a cage to evacuate the miners one at a time. They hope to start drilling the escape shaft by the weekend.