Trapped Chilean Miners: First miner may be rescued by Phoenix within the next hours

By on Oct 13, 2010 in World Comments

The first miner among the 33 trapped Chilean miners may be rescued by Phoenix within the next hours, Chile‘s Mining Minister Laurence Golborne announced on different international news sites, which are right now covering it live.

The Phoenix, which was reportedly a customized capsule, an exclusively designed through a joint collaboration by NASA engineers and the Chilean navy, will be used to pull up the miners one by one back to the ground.

The Phoenix rescue capsule, according to reports, weighs 924 pounds (420 kilograms), while its interior height is 6 feet, 4 inches (1.9 meters), and may take 15 to 25 minutes per trip, and may last for two days.

As Chilean Health Minister Jaime Malanich told CNN awhile ago, each miner will be pulled up at a speed of 0.7 meters (2.3 feet) per second, but may be increased to 3 meters (9.8 feet) per second in case of emergency.

According to reports, rescuers are set to start to pull the trapped miners up at about at midnight Tuesday (0300 GMT Wednesday), but it may begin a few hours earlier, some rescue officials have been quoted as saying.

There are still no confirmed reports as who will be first miner to be rescued, but last miner to be saved might be Luis Urzua, reports say.

Urzua, who eventually became an instant national hero of Chile, lead the trapped Chilean miners during their ‘staying underground’ some 700 meters deep.

The 33 trapped Chilean miners had been stranded underground for 68 days, since a partial collapse of the gold and copper mine occurred last August 5, 2010.

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