Denver, Colo., Oct 16, 2010 / 05:50 am
On Oct. 13, Greg Hall's prayers were answered. For more than two months of sleepless nights, the rock-drilling expert and deacon-in-training had been working to save the Chilean miners trapped in the San Jose Mine. The day after all 33 men emerged safely, Hall told CNA about the faith and hope he brought to a rescue operation many considered impossible.
Drillers Supply International, the company Greg Hall co-owns with his wife Angelica, has operated a Chilean branch for almost two decades, manufacturing parts for drilling hundreds or thousands of feet underground. When the Copiapó mine collapsed on Aug. 5, several of its customers initially worked “to find the miners, because nobody knew where they were.”
But Hall's clients couldn't drill deep enough to find them. “So they called my company to bring out all the equipment – which we make -- to help all five rigs be able to go down to 800 meters and start punching holes in the ground.”
“We did that for 17 days, and we actually thought the miners were dead.” Then, on Aug. 22, “(when) I was getting ready to go to Mass at 7 a.m., one of my guys called me and said: 'Greg, we think we hit a void, and we think we hear some banging on the drill pipe'. We pulled the pipe up, and in between the hammer and the drill pipe was a note … saying 'All 33 of us are alive'.”