August 31st, 2010
04:07 PM ET

What's on the trapped miners' menu

Officials tending to the 33 men who've been trapped in a Chilean mine for more than three weeks are preparing to send them their first delivery of solid food this week.

Through three bore holes that are about 4 inches in diameter, officials have been sending down items to make the miners more comfortable and physically and mentally as fit as possible.  But until now, the only nutrition sent to the miners has been in liquid form. The miners have been trapped in a cavernous shelter more than 2,300 feet below the surface since August 5, and a months-long drilling process to free the miners began late Monday night.

Here's what's on the menu Tuesday and for the next few days, according to Jorge Diaz, one of the leading medics looking after the trapped men:

- Tea bags, herbal infusions and thermos flasks of hot water
- For breakfast, an energy shake containing protein and carbohydrates
- Yogurt and cereal shake for a late-morning snack FULL POST

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August 30th, 2010
04:43 PM ET

This week's plans for Chilean mine rescue effort

Officials overseeing the rescue of 33 miners who've been trapped in a Chilean mine for more than three weeks plan to start a four-month drilling effort to reach the men.

The drilling operation at the San Jose mine was delayed Monday morning as rescuers waited for a power unit to arrive from Germany. The drilling of the rescue shaft is now expected to start in Monday afternoon or evening.

The miners have been stuck in the mine since an August 5 cave-in and are surviving in a shelter on food, water and other supplies funneled to them through three bore holes, each about 4 inches in diameter. Here’s what is scheduled for the rest of this week.

TUESDAY – The miners are due to send a new video greeting to families. The video is expected to show the 33 in better health and improved conditions.

TUESDAY – A four-person team from NASA is due to arrive in the Chilean capital, Santiago. A doctor, a psychologist, a nutritionist and a logistics engineer are making the trip.

WEDNESDAY MORNING – The miners are expected to get sandwiches, hummus and hot food. This will be the first time they will get solid food sent to them since the mine cave-in. Until now, the rescue workers have been sending the miners liquid nutrition.

WEDNESDAY – The NASA team is due to arrive at San Jose mine in northern Chile. The team is expected to apply its techniques for keeping astronauts healthy in outer space to the 33 miners, who are in a shelter 2,300 feet (700 meters) underground.

WEDNESDAY – Chilean Health Minister Jaime Manalich is due to return to the San Jose mine after a trip to Santiago to inform President Sebastian Pinera of the rescue operation’s progress.

FRIDAY – The NASA team is due to go back to Houston, Texas.

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August 30th, 2010
04:25 PM ET

What the trapped Chilean miners have in their shelter

Rescue officials are giving more than just food and water to the miners who have been trapped in Chile’s San Jose mine for more than three weeks.

Through three bore holes that are about 4 inches in diameter, officials are sending down items to help them be more comfortable and be as physically and mentally fit as possible.

The miners, trapped in a cavernous shelter more than 2,300 feet below the surface, have phone communication with rescuers between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily, and also opportunities for sporadic, brief phone communication with family members.

Here are some of the items that rescue workers have sent through the tubes to the miners.

- Liquid proteins and vitamins

- Water, at least five liters each per day

- Vaccinations, to fight tetanus, influenza and respiratory infections

- Antiseptic cream for eye irritation and fungal skin infections

- High-tech T-shirts and shorts, designed to wick away sweat

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August 29th, 2010
07:46 AM ET

Trapped miners expected to talk to families

The 33 Chilean miners who have been trapped underground for more than three weeks could have a chance to talk directly with family members for the first time Sunday. A communication line will be set up Sunday to allow family members to speak with miners below, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne told reporters.

Family members have mounted a constant vigil in a tent city - dubbed Camp Hope - outside the copper and gold mine in the Chilean desert. A week ago, miners first sent up a written message telling rescuers they had been safely huddled in a shelter 2,300 feet (701 meters) below the surface since the August 5 mine cave-in.

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