Pennsylvania Team facilitated the Chilean Miner Rescue – Takes your breath away

Pennsylvania Team facilitated the Chilean Miner Rescue – Takes your breath away –

This drill team was the first to reach the trapped miners with an escape shaft. A team of American drillers lead by Brandon Fisher ¬†from Down the Hole Drilling of Berlin Pennsylvania were brought in to help. Center Rock’s president and personnel from DSI Chile were present on-site for the 33 days of drilling. While the Schramm rig, built by privately held Schramm, Inc. of West Chester, Pennsylvania, was already on the ground in Chile at the time of the mine collapse, additional drilling equipment was flown from the United States to Chile by United Parcel Service.

The Schramm T-130 was directed to bore toward the workshop, a space that was accessible by the miners. The T-130 became operational on 5 September and worked in three stages. First, it needed to enlarge the 5.5 inches (14 cm) hole to a 12 inches (30 cm) hole. It then needed to drill the 12 inches (30 cm) hole into a 28 inches (71 cm) diameter hole. “If we tried to drill from a 5.5 inches (14 cm) hole to a 28 inches (71 cm) hole, the torque would be too high and it would … put the drill bits under too much pressure,” said Schramm, Inc. Latin American Regional Manager, Claudio Soto. However by reusing the same hole, there was still added pressure on the drill. Delays occurred because of issues with the neck of the drills caused by the angle of the drilling. Rescuers couldn’t drill vertically since that would require placing the heavy rig on the unstable ground where the cave in had happened. And the rescuers also had to avoid drilling into the production tunnels that wind above the shelter. Soto added, during the rescue, “It’s a difficult hole. It’s curved and deep. The hard rock has proven to be abrasive and has worn out the steel of the drill.”

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