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Dublin: 4°C Monday 24 January 2022
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Drill pierces roof of Chilean mine

Drill breaks through room of workshop 624m underground, meaning a rescue could be imminent.

Ezequiel Rivera hugs his daughter at the camp were relatives of a trapped miners wait for news of the rescue effort
Ezequiel Rivera hugs his daughter at the camp were relatives of a trapped miners wait for news of the rescue effort
Image: AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko

A DRILL HAS broken through the roof of the underground chamber where 33 Chilean miners are trapped.

After 65 days trapped underground, the attempt to rescue the miners could now begin in the next few days. The drill has pierced 624 metres underground- with the miner’s main cabin 700 metres under. But the drill penetrated the roof of a workshop above the main cabin which the miners can reach.

The miners’ families cheered and waved Chilean flags when the siren which signalled the breakthrough sounded. The method of the rescue must be decided, with officials set to decide soon whether it is possible to winch the miners up through the shaft created by the drill.

The order of the rescue has been decided though, with the miners to be separated into three groups. The fittest men with the most technical ability will go first in case of emergency on the journey to the surface.

Next, the weakest will be brought to the surface and finally the strongest miners will be brought up in the final group.

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