24 Aug 2010

Supplies sent to trapped Chilean miners

6:56 am on 24 August 2010

Chilean miners discovered alive more than two weeks after a cave-in have been sent supplies of saline and glucose through a narrow drill hole.

In what relatives called a miracle, the miners on Sunday tied a note to a perforation drill that had bored a shaft to the refuge where they are sheltered, 700 meters vertically underground in the small gold and copper mine.

Rescuers now face a months-long dig to rescue them.

Relatives have written letters to send down the shaft to the miners to help boost morale during the long wait ahead.

The manager of state copper giant Codelco's El Teniente mine, Andre Sougarret, says engineers will drill two other shafts, one to ensure ventilation and communication in coming months, and another wider one to get them out.

The collapse at the mine, in the Atacama desert near the northern city of Copiapo, occurred on 5 August.