Chilean miners could be freed this week

Drill is just 100m away from accessing the 33 miners trapped underground for 64 days.

The 33 Chilean miners who have been stuck 700m (2,300ft) below the ground for 64 days could be rescued this week.

One of three giant drills boring rescue shafts has less than 100m to go, according to Laurence Golborne, Chile's mining minister.

He said that it should reach a tunnel that the miners can access by tonight or tomorrow.

The shaft will then have to be inspected by video cameras to check how stable the rock walls are. If they are stable, the miners could be brought out within another two or three days, one by one.

If they are unstable, the 620m-long tunnel will have to be encased in steel tubes, which could take up to ten days.

The miners have been trapped underground since 5 August.