SANTIAGO Chilean President Michelle Bachelet expressed on Monday concern for the two miners trapped since Friday 1,300 meters (about 4,250 feet) underground in the Delia 2 mine in Cerro Bayo, near Chile Chico, in the southern Aysen region.
In the name of the government, I want to express our deep concern over the accident that has affected two workers, Enrique Ojeda and Jorge Sanchez, whose situation is still unknown, said Bachelet at La Moneda Palace before an official event.
We know the anguish their families, their friends, their workmates must be experiencing, but all of Chile is focused on their situation, they are not alone, said the president.
The appropriate authorities of (the) Mining (Ministry), the National Geological and Mining Service of Chile (Sernageomin) and of the region are, together with the families and the union, supporting the rescue work and providing updated information, Bachelet said.
I send all my solidarity and affection to the families and hope that the efforts will be successful, she concluded.
The miners were trapped by a sudden flood of water into the area where they were repairing an electric panel and their companions believe they may have been able to get to safety in a security tunnel on the same level of the mine.
The search effort continued today at the mine, which is some 1,800 kilometers (1,120 miles) south of Santiago, with the addition of three Sernageomin experts in draining mining tunnels, who arrived on the scene to help, Deputy Mining Secretary Erich Schnake, who is in charge of the search efforts, announced.
Besides mobilizing resources and medical personnel, who have been deployed on an ongoing basis at the site, authorities are also using a submarine robot probe from the fire department and have also brought in, via barge, heavy equipment to a staging area in Chile Chico.
Mining Minister Aurora Williams said that a wide-bore drill also is being brought to the mine to use, if required.