Local Businessman Helps Rescue Efforts in Chile
Local entrepreneur, Bill Maloney, has just returned from Chile where he has spent the past several weeks working to develop “Rescue Plan B”. Maloney, along with six employees of the Pennsylvania based Center Rock Inc., flew to Chile to offer their expertise.
“It was rewarding to get things going and seeing the right technology being used to get those guys out as soon as possible,” Maloney said. He got back to his Morgantown home last week and plans to return to Chile in late October to see the miners face-to-face after they’re rescued.
Center Rock Inc. helped provide the drilling bits for the rescue plan, which have already been used to drill about 400′. The miners are trapped 2,300′ below the surface, but rescuers are hoping to steadily progress through early November when they plan to be able to rescue the miners.
Maloney said the major breakthrough was when they were able to complete a 12″ shaft which enabled rescuers to send more supplies to the miners. This was a major success acknowledged by the Chilean government, news organizations, but most importantly, the miners themselves and their families. “We went outside the gates after drilling that 12-inch hole and got bombarded by all that media. Before that happened a couple of women started hugging us and I almost started to cry,” Maloney said. “It’s been something I’ll never forget… it’s going to be amazing to see them coming out,” Maloney added.
Center Rock Inc. was also instrumental to the rescue efforts at Pennsylvania’s Quecreek Mine in 2002, where miners were trapped 240′ below ground.