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Pa. driller returning from Chile rescue

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

The country of Chile is resting easy, celebrating the rescue of 33 copper miners trapped for more than two months deep within the earth. A local West Chester company had a hand in that rescue and will hold its own celebration on Friday.

The fourth-generation run, century-old Schramm incorporated builds drilling rigs to extract oil, gas and water. In fact one of their rigs will soon be used to reach the state’s Marcellus Shale natural gas reserve. But during the rescue in Chile, that same type of drill was used to poke holes in search of the trapped miners. Back on August 17th — just a few days before the trapped miners had run out of food, one of Schramm’s drills found them.

Then another of the company’s rigs was used to expand the rescue hole. Fred Slack is a company vice president. Slack says employees in Chile worked around the clock.

“The geology was possibly some of the worst in the world. Extremely hard rock, extreme uncertainty, this truly was a miracle.”

Slack says one of their employees is on his way back to the Philadelphia area, and a factory party is planned when he returns.

Chilean doctors say most of the freed miners are doing well and several are expected to be released from hospital.

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