On Thursday, an oil drilling platform arrived on the site where 33 Chilean miners have been trapped underground for 5 weeks.
The platform has been sitting idle about 620 miles away from the mining site. Its owners, Precision Drilling, a large Canadian drilling contractor, was contacted by the Chilean government for help. A crew from Precision Drilling is now on site, preparing the rig for drilling.
Rescuers hope that the oil drilling rig will speed the recovery efforts, but they still warn that it may be December before the miners are freed from the underground cavern.
The previous rescue plans are still underway. But the results have been mixed. The first drill managed to reach 187 yards (549 feet) on Thursday. The second hit a snag at 293 yards (879 feet), when it struck a reinforcement beam. It will need to be retrieved, the drill bit replaced, and a problem with the cable that happened before it struck the beam will need to be resolved.
The miners are trapped 2,300 feet below the ground. They are receiving food, water, and other basic supplies through a small tunnel that was drilled down to them. They can communicate with the outside world, and have received items, such as games, cards, movies and movie players, to help pass the time. Consultants from NASA are assisting with psychological and daylight deprivation issues.
(Image: Flickr / Desierto_Atacama)