London, Oct 9 (ANI): The long wait of the 33 trapped Chillean miners may be about to end within hours, with the drillers claiming that they have neared the lower reaches of the gold and copper mine.
According to Sky News, Chilean mining minister Laurence Golborne has said that the engineers now have got just the last 128 feet (39 metres) of rock to carve through and added that they were working carefully to keep the T130 drill from jamming or punching through with too much force.
He further said that the job could be completed by the afternoon.
The Plan B drill was poised to win a three-way race to reach the miners with a hole wide enough to accommodate their escape capsule. Two other drills, Plan A and Plan C, had to slow down after repeatedly veering off course, the paper said.
If the shaft's rock walls are found to be strong, the rescuers could start bringing the miners to the surface by Monday, otherwise the rescuers would have to line the shaft partially with steel pipe, delaying the rescue for three to eight more days.
Golborne also said that once the drilling is complete, a video camera will be lowered through the shaft, and the decision on whether or not to line the shaft will be made.
The men have been trapped 700 metres underground since the 5th of August when their mine collapsed. (ANI)