In Chile, the operation to rescue 33 miners who have been trapped underground for more than two months appears imminent.
The rescue team on October 11 said it had successfully tested the cage that will be lowered down a specially constructed shaft some 625 meters underground to evacuate the men.
The plan calls for the miners to be hoisted up one by one in the rescue cage, which has been named "Phoenix."
Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said the escape shaft appears ready for the rescue operation to begin at the San Jose Mine at midnight October 12 local time.
A drill cut through rock to reach the miners's position on October 9.
The men were feared dead after a collapse August 5 blocked the exit of their copper and gold mine in northern Chile.
But 17 days later, the men were able to send word that they had all survived in an emergency shelter.
compiled from agency reports