"Plan B" worked. Winning the three-way race to reach the 33 miners trapped in Chile since Aug. 5, drillers from Kansas City-based Layne Christensen Co. broke through at 8 a.m. Saturday.
weeks after the collapse, Layne's Latin American affiliate Geotec Boyles Bros.
brought in a Schramm T130 tophead drill. Layne also sent in two drillers, Jeff
Hart and Matt Staffel, who had been drilling water wells in Afghanistan to support U.S. troops
stationed there. Assisting the drillers were two Spanish-speaking drilling
helpers, Doug Reeves and Jorge Herrera, from Layne's western region in the United States.
a team, Layne and Geotec drilled a 5-inch hole nearly 2,300 feet, reamed it to
12 inches and finally to 26 inches in diameter – large enough to accommodate
rescue capsule. A cheer went up as families and rescue workers joined in a
celebration when the drill broke through. "I'm on top of the world,"
Hart told a TV reporter.
It took the
drillers 33 days to reach the 33 miners. "It's a first for our company to
be involved in a rescue effort like this," notes president and CEO Andrew Schmitt.
"It's also noteworthy that we're celebrating our 15th anniversary with our
Latin American affiliates," he says. In 1995, Layne merged with
Christensen Boyles Corp. and became the joint-venture partner with the Boytec
group of companies in Latin America.
started in 1882 as a water-well drilling company in the Badlands of South
Dakota. Headquartered in Mission Woods, Kan.,
a Kansas City
suburb, the Nasdaq-traded company operates worldwide, providing products and
services for the water, mineral, construction and energy markets.
Layne Christensen Drillers Reach Trapped Miners in Chile
October 15, 2010