American Morning

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October 13th, 2010
07:57 AM ET

Drilling for a miracle: Two Americans describe their role in the Chilean miner rescue

As of this writing, 10 Chilean miners have been rescued safely and the 23 are still waiting their turn. Americans Jeff Hart, field supervisor with Layne Christensen Co., and James Stefanic, operations manager with Geotec Boyles Bros., could be called heroes.

They were called in to Chile as part of a special team to oversee and drill the rescue shaft.

They spoke with us on "American Morning" this morning to describe the challenges they faced, and the feeling of knowing they were instrumental in saving these men.

Filed under: American Morning • Chile Miners
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Debi Michael

    I am the wife of Rod Michael, Core captain for Layne Christensen’s core division. You go Jeff Hart. This does not surprise me. These are some of the hardest working men around, they are the most dedicated workers with a strongest backbone that I have ever seen; they don’t give up until it’s done to perfection. They are some of the most compassionate men I have ever met. Rod my husband said they put the right man in Chili; a good man! My husband said we drill for water, precious metals, and now men. Jeff with crew hats off to you. 33 miners, 33 days drilling rock and a capsule called the Phoenix 2, only the red white and blue with dedicated men like you; “could pull this off”. (Plan B).

    October 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  2. victorvijay

    more than food and water,its the power of words spoken out of love
    and faith that saved the 33 lives.

    October 15, 2010 at 12:51 am |
  3. victorvijay

    trapped miners rescue-chi,chi-le,le.33 miners and 6 rescuers:
    what a miracle?un-believable but through cnn i was very much
    there at the mining site where the action was taking place.thank you cnn.hearty congratulations to the people of Chile and the joy is enormous.every one involved in the rescue act deserves all round
    appreciation.wishing in particular,the families of those trapped miners
    the best of everything for believing in the miracle to happen.the whole world is with the people of Chile.Faith and belief in self can make any
    kind of wonders and miracles happen.Let there be a lesson ,a very important lesson learnt out this most feared haedship that united
    the people are beyond all barriers,the world will be a better place to
    share not only knowledge but love , peace and happiness.thank God,
    He gave us this day of relief and heavenly joy.wish,no such calamity
    is repeated:nowhere in the world again.let us say again and again-

    October 14, 2010 at 4:58 am |
  4. mytreetv

    It's quite interesting to see that Americans a drilling for something else but oil! Drill baby Drill!

    October 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  5. Sheryl Ray

    This Is The Way It Ought to Be Like!

    October 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  6. Valeria T

    As I'm typing this, the 17th has just been brought up. 🙂 ;). I hope that the remaining miners are all rescued just as successfully. I do have one question, though. Each time a miner is taken out of the capsule, the crowd chants something, it sounds like the same few words each time. All I can make out is it starts with "si, si, si". Is there anyone out there who can tell what's being said?

    October 13, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  7. Ed

    How were the drillers able to pinpoint the exact location of the miners and how were they able to direct the drilling rig to the exact location?

    October 13, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  8. kent

    Why can a third world country keep miners alive for 2 months and we can't keep trapped miners alive for more than a few days. OSHA and mine safety in the U.S. are a farce compared to chile. All the talk about mine safety after the deaths in WV and no action from our do nothing dem or pub congress

    October 13, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  9. Rowland Jones

    Am I alone in finding this a little too self-congratulatory?

    'How smoothly did the operation go?" They're not even all out yet.

    October 13, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  10. Sam Keller

    After all the mining catastophes it's tremendous to see the hand of God at work. It reminds me of the plane crash on the Hudson. There are millions of people that want and need to believe in a grand rescue. Hope binds us together and shows us what humanity is capable of at it's very best.

    October 13, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  11. tm1946

    A nice story with, hopefully a happy ending for all involved. Whether you pray or not, your good thoughts should be to these folks.

    Such a releif from the nastiness of our political process. I guess man can still rise above it all.

    October 13, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  12. Al Vazquez

    I'm assuming that the rescue capsule is able to be secured by the last one going up in it.

    Dallas City, IL

    October 13, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  13. Tina B.

    Just a word usage note: I have heard the word myriad used incorrectly twice. Myriad is an adjective. It is correct to say – There are myriad problems with the rescue. It is NOT correct to say – There are a myriad of problems with the rescue.

    October 13, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  14. Dan

    @ Caroline, the way I understand it, they have lowered a couple resuce workers in to the mine, so they will be the last ones pulled up. I would hope and pray they have been trained on closing/locking the capsule. I would imagine it could be locked from inside.

    October 13, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  15. Charlie

    Maybe this has been discussed, but just how will the last person in the mine, whether a miner or rescue member, get thenselves into capsule, and prepared to be pulled up? It appears that door can be closed from within, but capsule needs to be aligned, to come up shaft?

    October 13, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  16. Caroline

    As I watch the miners one by one come up I wonder when the last person is down there who will close the door lock it and help him in the hole. As I watch I see them ease the Capsule in the hole.

    October 13, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  17. nancy

    This is totally awesome. Miracles do happen!! KUDO'S to everyone involved!!

    October 13, 2010 at 7:59 am |