How the extraordinary Chilean mine drama took shape
Published 13/10/2010 | 05:00
The Chilean miners have been trapped in a small copper and gold mine near the Chilean city of Copiapo, 500 miles north of Santiago since early August.
- August 5: Cave-in leaves 33 miners trapped nearly half a mile underground.
- August 6: Rescuers begin descending through a ventilation shaft.
- August 8: Rescue workers begin drilling 5in-wide boreholes as they try to locate the missing miners.
- August 19: A drill reaches the level where the miners were believed to be, but no sign of them is found.
- August 22: Rescue workers hear tapping on the drill at 2,260ft. When the drill is pulled out, there is a note attached, saying: "We are fine in the shelter, 33 of us."
- August 23: Food, water and medicine are lowered.
- August 27: Video footage of the cave is shown to relatives.
- August 31: Rescuers begin drilling a test hole.
- September 2: Drilling suspended because of geological faults. Miners receive rosaries blessed by Pope Benedict XVI.
- September 8: The miners watch a football match between Chile and Ukraine.
- September 13: After much debate above ground, the miners begin receiving cigarettes.
- September 14: Wife of one miner Ariel Ticona (29) gives birth to a baby girl.
- September 24: The miners mark 50 days trapped underground.
- September 25: The first of three rescue capsules, named Phoenix, arrives.
- October 4: President Pinera says a rescue is "very close".
- October 9: Rescue shaft reaches the miners. As the tip of the drill breaks through, one miner shouts: "We can see the nose. It's through, it's through!"
- October 11: Miners learn their rescue will begin the following day.