November 8, 2010

Greg Hall was preparing to serve as an acolyte for Mass at his parish in Houston when an associate contacted him about a "banging on the pipe."

It was Day 17 after the Chilean mine collapsed on 33 miners.

A representative from Drillers Supply International — a company owned by Hall and his wife, Angelica — was updating the deacon-in-training on the task assigned to the company's crew: drilling through more than 600 metres of rock down into the gold and copper mine.

"At that time, we thought we were just drilling to try to get a video feed to let (the miners') families know they had perished," Greg Hall said.

"Then we found out that all 33 of them were alive."

Moments after serving at Mass, Hall headed for the airport and left for the San Jose mine in the Atacama Desert.

Days after the drilling was completed, all of the miners were methodically extracted from the mine Oct. 13.

"I talked to a lot of people, and this was the most challenging drill I have done in 25 years," Hall, now back home, said in an interview.

"Talking to my peers, it was the most technologically challenging hole they ever heard of."

"I firmly believe God drilled that hole," he said.