Santiago: Thirty-three miners trapped in a Chilean mine since Aug 5 may be freed within two weeks as officials get set to launch the final phase of the rescue operation.
"Next week, we could be in shape to have all the necessary elements (in place) for the rescue," Andre Sougarret, head of the rescue operation, told reporters Tuesday.
The rapid progress made by the T-130 drill has moved up the projected rescue schedule, although officials working on the project remained cautious, the official added.
Meanwhile, interior ministry adviser Cristian Barra said the authorities would be able to carry out the rescue within 15 days.
With that goal in mind, authorities are readying the mobile hospital and the facilities where the miners would receive their initial medical attention, Barra said.
Authorities are hoping to receive a cable from Germany in the next few days that will be used to lower and then hoist the one-man Fenix capsules into which the miners will squeeze themselves for their solo journey to the surface.