London, Sept.17 (ANI): The 33 Chilean miners trapped nearly half a mile underground could be freed within two months, rescue workers have said.
The trapped men were previously warned they were unlikely to see daylight before Christmas, but chief engineer Rene Aguilar has outlined a more optimistic timescale, saying a rescue hole should reach them by the beginning of November.
Aguilar said the fastest of three drills being used in the mission had reached a depth of 1,200 feet after digging through 330 feet in just 24 hours.
Engineers are now hopeful that they will reach the trapped Chilean miners by early November
The rescue effort suffered a setback when a drill bit broke last week, but it resumed on Wednesday morning after a successful repair.
"We estimate in a best-case scenario we should be arriving in the first days of November. If we suffer no more setbacks, the workers could be on the surface in November," the Daily Mail quoted Aguilar, as saying.
Three holes are being bored through the rock to reach the miners' refuge 2,300 feet underground in the San Jose gold and copper mine, 500 miles north of the capital, Santiago.
The missions - dubbed Plans A, B and C - are operating simultaneously to ensure the men are reached as soon as possible. The men have been trapped since a cave-in on August 5. They were located alive on August 22. (ANI)