Deep well camera brought images of miners to world

October 2010 Vol. 65 No. 10

Aries Industries has been instrumental in helping the Chilean government successfully locate a group of trapped minors using an Aries deep well camera system. The families and rescuers of 33 trapped Chilean miners were finally able to view their loved ones due to the Aries’ camera. The camera system has been used in coal mine disasters in this country and was made available to Chilean rescuers.

Since Aug. 5, the workers have been trapped nearly 2,200 feet underground in a copper mine in San Jose de Copiapo, 500 miles north of Santiago, the nation's capital. They were trapped after the shaft they were working in collapsed.

Disaster crews began to drill a borehole to reach the miners, not knowing if they were alive. However, the opening was not large enough for Aries' mine disaster camera system.

As reported, Chilean officials then contacted Aries' Fresno, CA, operation, where an even more specialized camera system was available.

The slim-line system is only 1.375 inches in diameter and can reach a length of 5,000 feet. The smaller system fit neatly into the existing borehole and allowed rescue workers a glimpse of the suffering but alive workers.

"We were thrilled as a company," James Lenahan, president and CEO, said. "It makes us feel wonderful as a company to know that our technology developments can help in these serious situations. The camera allowed them to see the people down there."

The miners still face weeks before they can be rescued. In the meantime, rescuers are rushing to provide food, water and oxygen to keep them alive during the ordeal.

Aries, base in Waukesha, WI, manufactures pipeline inspection and rehabilitation equipment for water, wastewater, natural gas, oil and disaster recovery services.

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