On August 5, 2010, the main ramp of the San José copper-gold mine near Copiapó, Chile collapsed. 33 miners were trapped 2,300 feet underground with no means of communication, and access to a limited supply of food and water.
A total of three holes were dug to open a passageway to the trapped workers: Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.
Drill used: Raise Borer Strata 950 (traditionally used for drilling ventilation shafts in mines)
- Drill was placed directly above the shelter
- First drill to begin boring
- Originally anticipated to be the quickest way to reach the trapped miners
Drill used: Schramm T-130 (traditionally used for boring water holes)
- Drill was placed at a ~80 degree angle into an area of the mine shaft used as a mechanical workshop (accessible to all trapped miners)
- Anticipated to take longer than Plan A rescue efforts
- First drill to reach the miners (October 9)
Drill used: Rig 421 (traditionally used for drilling for oil)
- Last drill to be added to the rescue process
- Despite being the last rescue effort implemented, due to the nature of the drill, it was anticipated to reach the trapped miners quicker than Plan A and Plan B
On October 13th, after 69 days underground, more than 1 billion people watched as all 33 miners were brought to the surface. The process took approximately 22.5 hours, and used a specially built capsule to transport the workers upwards.