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Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Chilean Miners Rescue Soon, 15 Oct
[SAN JOSE MINE, Chile — Chile's president said Monday that his government is "very close" to pulling 33 trapped miners to safety and he hopes to be there in person to see the rescue before leaving on a trip to Europe.
It was Sebastian Pinera who told the miners after they were found alive Aug. 22 that they would be saved by Christmas, and his government has assembled a team of hundreds to support them while three simultaneous drilling operations pound escape shafts through a half-mile of rock.
The drilling has gone well enough to move up the date since then, but rescue leaders have been cautious: Only last week, they estimated a late-October pullout.
Now the president has changed the expected date again, to before his Oct. 15-22 trip.
"We are very close to rescuing them, and I hope to be able to rescue them before leaving for Europe," he told a group of Chilean radio broadcasters Monday. "We are trying to adjust the two schedules."]