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33 Chilean Miners Found Alive, but Rescue May Be Months Away

Thirty-three Chilean miners who were trapped underground Aug. 5 when their mine collapsed were found alive 17 days later, giving their loved ones and the entire nation cause to celebrate. But the trapped miners still have a long road ahead, as officials say it could take up to 4 months to rescue them from the mine.

When the main tunnel in the copper and gold mine, located near Copiapó, Chile, suffered a collapse, the 33 minters were able to access an underground shelter, according to media reports. Rescuers worked for more than 2 weeks to locate the trapped miners, and hope had faded before contact was made Aug. 22. The miners were able to send a note to the surface explaining they were all alive and well in the shelter.

BBC News reported that a larger drill would be required to dig a shaft wide enough to pull the miners to safety – an operation that could take at least 4 months. Chilean authorities plan to send food, water and other supplies into the mine, as well as microphones and cameras to communicate with the trapped miners.

According to media reports, all the miners are currently safe in the underground shelter and are expected to eventually be rescued.

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