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article imageRescue efforts of trapped Chilean miners hindered by landslides

By Igor I. Solar     Aug 7, 2010 in World
Santiago - Additional recent landslides within the San José mine in northern Chile are delaying access to the site, 300 meters underground, where 34 miners remain trapped since Thursday, risking the safety of rescuers and forcing to stop work.
About forty rescue workers in five teams had descended a shaft towards the security zone of the San José mine, of the San Estaban Gold and Copper Mining Company, where 34 miners remain trapped since last Thursday. However, new landslides had forced them to return to the surface.
Laurence Golborne, Chilean Minister of Mining admitted to reporters this afternoon: "The news is not auspicious. We have failed to make contact with the miners. We have had new landslides at level 240 meters and rescuers had to abandon work for safety reasons.” Shocked with emotion Goborne added: “I have much pain; it breaks my heart”"There are no short-term alternatives right now, but to wait. We are in a very complicated situation," he said.
During the morning today, the authorities had expected that the rescue efforts would be completed within five to eight hours. The current situation would certainly extend that estimate.
At the site of the accident there is emergency equipment and personnel to assist with the transfer of miners to the only hospital in the area. The Regional Emergency Office (ONEMI) reported that "the rescue teams are carrying out the work with logistic support of two helicopters provided by private companies, a Twin Otter aircraft, clothing, food, first aid kits and everything that may be required to adequately manage the various emergency procedures."
Chilean President Sebastián Piñera made a last minute change in his agenda and cancelled his attendance to the inauguration of President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, to travel to the location of the mining accident in Copiapó, in the Atacama Desert.
More about Chile, Copper mine, Trapped Miners
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