Rescue crews in Chile will begin at midnight Tuesday -- and perhaps even earlier -- to free the 33 miners trapped for more than two months nearly half a mile below ground, Chile's mining minister said Monday.
Steel tubing has begun to be placed to reinforce the path that connects the 33 miners trapped in Chile to the surface, the final step before the extraction of the miners can begin, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said Sunday.
There may be light at the end of a nearly completed tunnel for the 33 men trapped since August 5 almost half a mile below ground, with rescuers expected to reach them within a day, Chile's mining minister said Friday afternoon.
Rescuers in Chile have just another 89 meters (292 feet) left to drill and are expected to break through into the area where 33 miners are trapped by Saturday, Chilean Mines Minister Laurence Golborne said Thursday.
Engineers in Chile said on Saturday that they have come up with a "Plan B" that could halve the time it would take to rescue the 33 miners trapped underground since August 5, but the country's mining minister quickly cautioned against setting what he called unreasonable expectations.
The 33 Chilean miners who have been trapped underground for more than three weeks spoke directly with family members for the first time Sunday, as officials worked to keep the men's spirits and health in good shape.
Now that 33 miners who have been trapped in the earth for 19 days have been found alive, the focus is shifting to their physical and mental health as they face a potentially long period before being rescued.
The 33 miners trapped inside a mine in Chile survived for more than 17 days by sharing small amounts of tuna and mackerel that were in a shelter, along with water, President Sebastian Pinera told CNN en Español on Monday.