The announcement was delivered by the Minister of Health, Jaime Mañalich, after the T-130 machine, one of the three drills being used at San José mine, reached 40 meters from the shelter where the workers are.
The descent of the excavator to the gallery where the workers have been since August 5th, is expected for this Friday night and will be preceded by the lining of the first 100 or 200 meters of pipeline of 66 centimeters in diameter.
Miners will be led out in capsules fitted with wheels and shocks for a better travel through the tunnel. According to newspaper La Tercera, in case it gets stuck, there is a device to release the upper part and lower it at safe speed.
The structures constructed by the Shipbuilding and Ship repair Company of the Armed Forces of Chile (Asmar) will have four emergency oxygen tubes and inside each one, the miners will have a helmet with a microphone and headphones.
Once on the ground, workers will be flown in a Bell 412 helicopter of the Chilean Air Force (FACH) of the regiment of Copiapó and then to Copiapó hospital, a journey that should not take more than 15 minutes according to El Mercurio newspaper.