The Chilean miners, who may remain trapped in their tunnel until Christmas, are struggling with physical and psychological problems
Since the 5. August, 33 miners are trapped in a nearly 700-meter-deep tunnel in the Chilean Atacama Desert. Since pipes could be drilled to transport food, their chances of survival are basically not bad. For the first 17 days of their captivity, the workers had lived on what were supposed to be two days’ worth of supplies. Shift leader Luis Urzúa had limited the rations given out at 48-hour intervals to one can of canned fish, half a cookie, a piece of peach and a sip of milk, causing those trapped to lose up to ten kilograms of weight per person.
The food problem is now solved. However, it could take until Christmas for the miners to be freed from their captivity. This week, work has begun with a special drill, but it can advance only between 8 and 20 meters per day, among other things, to avoid further damage. In addition, a 33-centimeter-wide hole must first be pre-drilled before the actual opening twice as wide can be cleared, through which a transport capsule for the workers is then to be sent into the shaft.