Oct 13, 2010 12:28 PM by Associated Press

Chile mine driller from Colorado

The man who operated the drills to reach the trapped miners in Chile is a contractor from Colorado.

Jeff Hart was drilling water wells for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan when he got the call to fly to help in the mine rescue. He spent the next 33 days on his feet, operating the drill that finally provided a way out for the miners.

Champagne sprayed all around him after Hart guided the drill into the miners' chamber on Saturday.

He pulled the last punch so that the drill extended just over two feet beyond the ceiling.

A less experienced hand might have broken through with too much power, endangering the miners and even jamming the shaft with broken equipment.

Hart has a home in Denver but works for long periods abroad as a contractor for a Kansas-based company.


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