News story

Manitou used in Chilean rescue

Thursday, 4 November 2010 ( #486 ) - Ancenis, France
The MT 1030S with the rescue capsule.
The MT 1030S with the rescue capsule.
French materials handling giant Manitou is taking some credit for the recent dramatic rescue of 33 trapped miners at the San José mine in Chile. Leasing company SK Rental provided Manitou telescopic trucks to assist in the rescue of the trapped miners. Three MT1030 telehandlers were used on the surface to transport the steel tubes used to encase the first few metres of the rescue tunnel. "Manitou machines were onsite from the beginning, handling parts of the drilling machine and helping manipulate pipes to prepare the tunnel," says Manitou spokeswoman Johanna Emonides. Emonides adds that Manitou has 70% of the telehandler marketshare in Chile, while JCB, another provider of a rescue telehandler, has 20% of the market (Forkliftaction.com News #484). Two MT 732 telehandlers were underground with the miners who spent 69 days trapped in San Jose copper and gold mine in Chile's Atacama desert after part of the pit collapsed on 5 August. The miners used the machines to clear a living space for themselves and also rested in the cabins. Finally, a MT 1030S was used to handle the capsule on a tour of Chile's main economic, industrial and political sites, which included towns like Santiago, Antofagasta and Copiapo. "[It was chosen] because the Manitou machine is the most used machine in Chilean mining, [also] the machine is red, a colour in the Chilean flag." Emonides says.