Chilean Miners Mark Two Months Trapped Underground

Thirty-three miners trapped deep underground in a copper mine in northern Chile on Tuesday marked two months since the mine they were working in collapsed on Aug. 5. On the ground, the miners' relatives, who had set up a camp outside the mine on Aug. 22 when it was announced that all the miners trapped were still alive, held a brief ceremony at which they placed 33 flags, one for each miner, as a symbol of remembrance. At the ceremony outside the mine, some 800 kms north of the capital Santiago, rescuers announced that the miners could be rescued sooner than the planned date of earlier November. Pedro Buttazzoni, president of the company which owns the drill T-130, part of a rescue effort dubbed "Plan B," said the machine was just 160 meters away from the miners trapped 700 meters underground and that it could reach them as early as this week. Once "Plan B" reaches where the miners are trapped, the next step would be to determine if the drilled well has to be reinforced with tubes to reduce risks in a rescue, which could delay the rescue for some days.