Chile Works To Speed Rescue Of Trapped Miners

08.30.10 | FL News Team

(Copiapo, Chile)  --  Officials in Chile are hoping 33 miners who've been trapped deep in a collapsed mine since August 5th can be pulled out earlier than expected.  Rescue workers have predicted it could be up to four months before the men see the light of day again.  Mining Minister Laurence Golborne doesn't think that's acceptable and is looking at other options.  Among them, digging a second escape shaft.

Golborne told reporters Saturday "Obviously we are looking into other options and we will welcome any option that speeds up the rescue."  Drilling of a rescue shaft about two feet in diameter is expected to get underway soon, although even that could take several months to reach the miners.  

The men were found alive a week ago, 23-hundred feet underground.  They'd survived for two weeks on tinned tuna, cookies and milk.  NASA has been called in to offer tips on how the miners might deal with lengthy confinement.  So far they've received card games, video projectors and MP3 players to fight boredom inside the hot, humid tunnel.