PAUL RAEBURN, host:
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY from NPR. I'm Paul Raeburn.
Thirty-three miners working in a copper and gold mine in Chile were trapped when a tunnel collapsed on August 5, sealing them in. August 5, a lot of time has already gone by.
They've been stuck about a half-mile down for six weeks, getting letters and food from the surface through a five-and-a-half-inch hole that was drilled a week ago.
Now, three separate drilling rigs called Plans A, B and C are drilling shafts wide enough to free the miners, but estimates say it could be weeks or even until Christmas before they are out. This is clearly a tougher job than it might seem, and today we're going to see if we can find out why.
Joining me are my guests Rudy Lyon, research and development manager for Center Rock in Berlin, Pennsylvania, a company working on the Plan B drill at the Chilean mine. Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY, Rudy.
Mr. RUDY LYON (Research and Development Manager, Center Rock, Inc.): Thank you, Paul.
RAEBURN: Is it Berlin in Pennsylvania? Is that how it's pronounced?
Mr. LYON: That's correct. It's Berlin, Pennsylvania, and I'm located near Roanoke, Virginia, right now.
RAEBURN: Yes, and our second guest is Davitt McAteer, a vice president of sponsored programs at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia. He's also the former chief of the Mining Safety and Health Administration. Welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY, Davitt.
Mr. DAVITT McATEER (Former Chief, Mine Safety and Health Administration; Vice President of Sponsored Programs, Wheeling Jesuit University): Thank you, sir, it's good to be here.
www.DavittMcAteer.com Davitt McAteer & Associates
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