Drill Hole Breaks Through

Huntington, Utah (WVLT) - Crews working to reach six miners trapped in a Utah cave have reached an area where they believe the men to be, but so far, there's no sign of life.

CBS's Manuel Gallegus is on the scene with the latest.

It's the break rescuers were hoping for.

Drill crews believe they hit their underground target, punching a hole in the cavity where they think 6 miners have been trapped since early Monday morning.

"Our engineers were able to drill from the side of the mountain and hit precisely in the mine where they wanted to," says Bob Murray, the owner of the mine.

A microphone was lowered down the 2 1/2 inch wide opening but nothing has been heard yet.

"The fact that we have not picked up any sound, I believe, should not be interpreted as bad news. I would not make that conclusion yet," says Murray.

While they stopped the drill motors and listened for any sound, engineers drew air samples.

Many had worried the miners would run out of air long before they could be reached.

But the news was good.

"20.5% oxygen, no methane, and a moderate amount of carbon dioxide. That means if they're alive, they're going to stay alive," says Murray.

While officials monitor the microphone, the second, larger drill will continue boring into the rock.

When that drill reaches the mine cavity, a high-resolution camera will be cabled down the eight-and-five-eighths hole and check for any signs of life.

Mine officials continue to call themselves optimistic but they caution the work is far from over.


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