Chile miners: Rescue workers expect to begin lifting trapped miners Tuesday
Officials said that Tuesday, the 69th day underground for 33 miners trapped 2,300 feet down in a northern Chile mine, will see at least the first rescue via metal capsule, with the rest to be lifted to freedom over the next two days.
Officials said all is ready for the operation to begin sometime during the last six hours of the day and that President Sebastian Pinera would arrive in the afternoon to witness the rescue operation. The miners will get two hours of triage at a makeshift clinic near the mine before evacuation to the Copiapo hospital for two days of observation.
Chilean Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said the 40-mile road leading from Copiapo to the mine would close at 8 p.m. local time to facilitate land evacuation of the miners if the skies are too cloudy for helicopters.
Golborne declined to identify which miner would be lifted out first. He said the last person to come up from the mine would be one of the three or four rescue team members who will enter the site to help guide the miners to safety.
-- Chris Kraul in Copiapo, Chile
Photo: A large screen is set up in the main square of Copiapo that will show live the rescue of the miners trapped at the San Jose mine. Credit: Claudio Santana /AFP/Getty Images.
Photos: Chile miner rescue
Live video: Chilean miners rescue operation
Graphic: Narrow escape way for miners
Map: Copiapo, Chile