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SANTIAGO, Chile — A rescue hole for 33 trapped miners will be shored up today so a capsule can make the half-mile trip down, engineers said Sunday.
Rescue operations chief André Sougarret said a steel sleeve would be inserted into the top few hundred feet of the hole to stabilize the walls. A platform above the hole to lower the capsule also should be complete to allow rescues to begin Wednesday at the San José mine, he said.
The miners, who've been trapped in the gold and copper mine since Aug. 5, could be seen on a video feed cheering and hugging Saturday after a drill working around the clock for weeks broke into their cavern.
On the surface, rescuers sprayed champagne while relatives of the miners danced near tents where they have been staying awaiting word of the rescue. Health Minister Jaime Manalich said the miners are ready for their 20-minute ride to freedom.
Chilean miners rescue – live coverage
4.11am12.11am Chile) Here he is. Florencio Avalos has made it out of the mine safe and well. He clambers out of the capsule and hugs his daughter and tearful family. It's a fantastic moment. He goes on to hug the president and the rescue workers.