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The race to reach 33 miners entombed for 64 days 700m (2,300ft) below the bare brown mountains of the Atacama Desert in Chile could be completed as early as tonight. The chief engineer said this afternoon that within 24 hours the chamber will have been reached. He added that bringing the miners out could begin in three days' time. Three giant drills were boring rescue shafts down through the layers of rock, Laurence Golborne, the Mining Minister, had announced yesterday. How quickly the miners can be extracted once the shafts have reached the men depends on a careful inspection of the shaft, 70cm (28in) wide, by video cameras. If the rock walls are deemed stable the miners could be brought out, one by one, within another two or three days. It is estimated that it will take between 36 and 48 hours to bring them all out.
The miners have been trapped underground since August 5, more than twice as long as any other known survivor of a mining accident. A stream of rescue vehicles, satellite television trucks and vehicles carrying journalists from around the world are heading up to the shallow bowl in this lunar landscape that will be a centre of attention over the next few days. In the past 48 hours a specially trained 16-man rescue team, three slim metal rescue capsules, a giant crane, winches and much other equipment have been delivered to Camp Esperanza, as the makeshift settlement is known.
Once the shaft is safe, two volunteers, a mining expert from Codelco, the state-owned mining conglomerate, and Sergeant Roberto Rios Seguel, 34, a naval medic and commando, will act as human guinea pigs, descending to where the miners are in the Phoenix - a steel capsule specially made by the Chilean Navy and designed by them together with NASA engineers. It has been painted in the red, white, and blue colours of the Chilean flag. The Phoenix is named for the mythical bird that rose from its ashes, and is the biggest of three custom-built capsules that will be used. It weighs 420 kg. Its interior height is 6 feet, 4 inches (1.9 metres). The miners have been restricted to a diet of 2,000 calories a day to ensure that they can fit into the capsule, which is 53cm wide.
The capsule has oxygen tanks in the bottom part. It also has a camera, its own lighting system and a sound system. It has two sets of retractable wheels around it, one near the top and one near the bottom, to help it travel up and down the rescue shaft. The roof of the capsule contains LED lights. If something goes wrong during the rescue, the top part of the capsule can be released and the bottom two thirds of the capsule would then be lowered back down. Should the capsule become jammed, the occupant can open the escape hatch in the base and go back down the shaft.
The capsule will be lowered by a large crane at a speed of up to 3ft (91 cm) per second.
The miners will be wearing a suit with a harness over it, which will allow them to be strapped to the centre of the cylinder in an upright position for the estimated twenty- minute journey to the surface. They will also wear an oxygen mask, a pair of dark glasses to protect their eyes from exposure to the desert sunlight, and a helmet which is specially adapted with a microphone and a wired headset to enable them to communicate with the surface. Doctors will monitor the miners' vital signs using information gathered from a biometric belt. They will conduct a preliminary assessment of the miners' mental and physical health. The miners will then be divided into three groups. The strongest will be the first to make the hazardous ascent to freedom, in case the capsule hits problems, then the weakest. They will be winched up one by one in the slender capsule, rising at just under a metre a second, meaning that each ascent will take about 15 minutes. The entire rescue is expected to take 30 to 40 hours.
As each man finally emerges, he will be taken to the nearby field hospital wearing Californian-made sunglasses that filter out all UV rays to protect his eyes. There the men will be given a thorough check-up and, if strong enough, they wilt be allowed to meet three relatives designated in advance. The miners will then be flown by helicopter to the hospital in Copiapo, where a whole floor has been set aside for them. They are expected to remain there for at least two days.

The reading passage has five paragraphs. Which paragraphs state the following information? NB: There are more paragraphs than summaries, so you will not use them all.

1. The miners′ situation is of global interest.
A. Paragraph A
B. Paragraph E
C. Paragraph B
D. Paragraph D
E. Paragraph C

2. The length of the operation will be determined by the stability of the physical environment.
A. Paragraph C
B. Paragraph A
C. Paragraph B
D. Paragraph D
E. Paragraph E

1. Choose the most suitable title for the whole of the reading passage.
A. Mine rescue on verge of breakthrough
B. Engineers save the day
C. Journalists and rescuers race to Chile
D. The Phoenix will rise

Complete the summary below. Choose your answers from the box below and write them into spaces. You can only use each answer once. NB: There are more words than spaces so you will not use them all.
made safe
However, if all goes well, they could be (1)………… by (2)………… emergency workers in the next few days. Preparations are already under way. As soon as the miners have been (3)…………, the real rescue operation can start: a specially (4)………… capsule will be sent down to retrieve them one by one. It is (5)…………  that bringing all of the men back up will take up to forty hours.

estimated trained freed reached designed


 Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage to complete each blank in the diagram below.

escape hatch/oxygen tanks retractable wheels/sets of wheels/ wheels LED lights/ lights steel oxygen tanks/escape hatch 53cm


Total: 65 page(s)
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