| HBS Case Collection
(Revised May 2012)
The 2010 Chilean Mining Rescue (A)
On August 5, 2010, 700,000 tons of some of the hardest rock in the world caved in Chile's century-old San José mine. The collapse buried 33 miners at a depth almost twice the height of the Empire State Building-over 600 meters (2000 feet) below ground. Never had a recovery been attempted at such depths, let alone in the face of challenges like those posed by the San José mine: unstable terrain, rock so hard it defied ordinary drill bits, severely limited time, and the potentially immobilizing fear that plagued the buried miners. Could the trapped miners and rescue workers mobilize before air and resources were depleted? The case describes the ensuing efforts that draw the resources of countless people and multiple organizations in Chile and around the world.