Tubes arrive for trapped Chilean miners' rescue operation

"Four trucks have arrived, with 72 tubes" from Argentina, Interior Ministry adviser Cristian Barra told a briefing.The tubing, about 10 metres long per unit, 61 centimetres (24 in) in diametre and two centimetre (.8 in) thick was to be used to reinforce the shaft being dug once one reaches the trapped miners.

Once reinforcement has been done to protect the miners' exit they will be brought up to the surface in a specially made metal lift being built by the Chilean navy.

Despite the long wait until rescuers can begin pulling the men one by one by early November at the soonest the arrival of a first cage Saturday buoyed hopes in the makeshift campsite that sprung up after the August 5 cave-in.

It was the first of three capsules that will be used in the penultimate phase of the rescue, marking the end of a gruelling underground ordeal that already has lasted nearly two months.An Austrian-made hoisting system of pulleys and cranes will bring the cage slowly up the rescue shaft.Engineers said each trip will take from one to one-and-a-half hours, with the entire rescue lasting more than 24 hours.

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