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A huge drill borrowed from an oil company has joined two others digging through the 630m (2,060ft) of rock separating the miners from the surface. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera told the trapped men he was confident the rescue effort would succeed. His government has said it hopes to get them out by early November. Continue reading the main story Chile's Trapped Miners * Profiles: Trapped miners * Family's diary * Graphics: Rescue operation * Graphics: Underground refuge President Pinera, making his fifth visit to the San Jose mine, was accompanied by celebrated Chilean novelist Isabel Allende. In a video conference, he told the miners he hoped that on his next visit he would be meeting them above ground. "Today for the first time we have three machines working simultaneously. We do not know when they will reach them. But we know one thing: with the help of God, we will reach them," Mr Pinera said.
On Friday one rescue drill completed a 30cm (12in) shaft. But it will take several weeks to make it wide enough to get the men out.
The new drill is much more powerful, capable of cutting through up to 30m of rock a day.
If all goes well, it could be the first to complete a rescue tunnel.
The miners were trapped when the main access tunnel to the San Jose copper and gold mine near Copiapo collapsed on 5 August.
Relatives set up Camp Hope at the pithead when the men were found to be alive, 12 days after the collapse.
The 32 Chileans and one Bolivian have survived longer than any other group trapped underground.
Three bore holes have already reached the men to supply them with food, water and medicine.
Originally posted by baddmove
would you want to listen to that song down in that hole as a "pick me up"??
The 33 trapped miners - all Chileans except one miner from Bolivia - have a range of ages, background and experience. The oldest, Mario Gomez, 63, has worked in the mines since the age of 12 and was thinking of retiring in November. The youngest is 19-year-old Jimmy Sanchez, with only five months' experience. All in the same predicament now, and having been resupplied with food and medication as rescue efforts continue from above, the miners are trying to establish a normal routine. They have split into three groups - El Refugio, La Rampa and 105 - named after the shelter, the ramp and Level 105 sections of the 1km tunnel where they are trapped. Each group has a leader and carries out shifts, as they did before the accident on 5 August. Above ground, relatives await the videos and scrawled messages from their loved ones and send replies and creature comforts back down the supply pipe. More on This Story