Local/State

West Chester company's link to Chile rescue

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

There's a very important link between the rescue in Copiano, Chile, and a company in West Chester, Pa.

John Hadfield has worked at Schramm for over 30 years and helped construct the hammer drill. He says in Chile, his coworkers began the effort by drilling a 6-inch hole, then a 12-inch one before expanding it to just over 2 feet, just wide enough to pull the miners to safety.

"We're the one who made it down there and it makes us all proud," Hadfield said.

Ed Breiner, the CEO of Schramm, says the rescue effort has been a whirlwind of emotions.

"First, its worry, the objective is to get the 33 miners out of harm's way. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in a 2,000 foot 28-inch bore hole," Briener said.

Those things include keeping the bore hole straight, synchronizing equipment and making sure it didn't break.

Breiner says his drill was brought in because of the speed at which it could move along the rescue operation.

Plus, the company has a widespread presence in the copper mining business of Chile.

"It's not a bore hole that anybody can drill. It takes some experience and it's something you only learn from experience, frankly," Breiner said.

Employees here say they'll enjoy a little of the spotlight for just a day. Then it's back to work building drills, not for rescues, but for exploration.

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Tags:
pennsylvania, west chester, chile, mine collapse, local/state, chad pradelli
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