The engineers are digging two escape tunnels for the men and plan to start on a third one soon. Work on the second of the tunnels is going particularly well. Rene Aguilar, one of the chief engineers at the site, said he expected the drill to reach the area where the miners are sheltering this weekend.
Then, the engineers will haul the drill up to the surface and start digging again, to widen the shaft until it"s big enough to serve as an escape route.
Aguilar said the team expected to rescue the men in early November.
The news has been welcomed by relatives of the men, who have been celebrating the birth of one of the miners" daughters. Baby Esperanza was born on Tuesday. Her father, Ariel Ticona, is trapped below ground.
Video images of the birth were sent down a supply chute to the miners" refuge so that he could watch them.
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