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Chilean miners

Rescue of the Chilean miners was a mix of technology and a divine miracle, driller says

Rescue of the Chilean miners was a mix of technology and a divine miracle, driller says

He will go down in history as “the man with the plan” to find and rescue all 33 of the trapped Chilean miners last August. Greg Hall is the owner of a drilling manufacturing company with offices in Houston, northern Minnesota and Chile. And while he cannot deny he engineered the project that enabled the rescue watched around the world, the humble Catholic who serves as a deacon in his local church insists “it was God who drilled the hole.”

When the collapse of the gold mine in Copiapo happened on Aug. 5, 2010, the Chilean government immediately sent drill rigs that began a guessing game of poke work into the tough terrain. Poor geological mapping and insufficient equipment made the search effort chaotic. They knew the miners were buried somewhere 500 meters and 800 meters below the surface, but the local mineral exploration rigs could only reach as far as 450 meters.

Mr. Hall’s drill manufacturing company, Drillers Supply International, had the tools and the faith needed to find the men. By Day 12, he and his team were certain they were on a body recovery mission. On Day 17, the team heard a banging on his drill pipe, the first  sign of life. Attached to his drill pipe, was a muddied note in red ink that read, “Estamos bien en el refugio los 33.” We are all right in the shelter, the 33 of us.

But Mr. Hall’s journey with the miners didn’t end there. The government, unsatisfied with other plans proposed to bring the men to the surface, called Greg’s company again to ask if he had a solution. His plan was called Plan B, the back up plan.

On assignment for Listen Up TV, I sat with the Texas giant — he is 6 feet 6 inches, 300 pounds — to gather the untold story of Plan B and to hear why he believes in the power of prayer, and calls the rescue “a miracle.”

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