Why is the rescue taking so long?

Six men have been trapped in a mine for seventeen hours. If they are not brought to the surface soon they may lose their lives. However, rescue operations are proving difficult. If explosives are used, vibrations will cause the roof of the mine to collapse. Rescue workers are therefore drilling a hole on the north side of the mine. They intend to bring the men up in a special capsule. If there had not been a hard layer of rock beneath the soil, they would have completed the job in a few hours. As it is, they have been drilling for sixteen hours and they still have a long way to go. Meanwhile, a microphone, which was lowered into the mine two hours ago, has enabled the men to keep in touch with their closest relatives. Though they are running out of food and drink, the men are cheerful and confident that they will get out soon. They have been told that rescue operations are progressing smoothly. If they knew how difficult it was to drill through the hard rock, they would lose heart.

New words and expressions 生词和短语

trap v. 陷入,使陷于困境
surface n. 地面,表面
explosive n. 炸药
vibration n. 震动
collapse v. 坍塌
drill v. 钻孔
capsule n.
layer n. 层
beneath prep. 在……之下
lower v. 放下,降低
progress v. 进展,进行
smoothly adv. 顺利地

参考译文

6个人被困在矿井里已有17个小时了。如果不把他们尽快救到地面上来,他们就有可能丧生。然而,事实证明营救工作非常困难。如果用炸药爆破,震动会引起矿顶塌落。因此,营救人员在矿井的北侧钻了一个洞。他们准备用一种特制的把这6个人救上来。如果不是因为土壤下面有一层坚硬的岩石,他们的营救工作仅用几个小时就可以完成了。实际情况是,他们已连续钻了16个小时了,但离钻透还早着呢。与此同时,两个小时以前放下井去的一只麦克风使井下的人可以与其亲属保持联系。虽然他们的食物和饮料都快消耗尽了,但这些人的心情很好,坚信他们很快就会出去。他们一直被告知营救工作进行得非常顺利。如果他们知道了钻透那坚硬的岩石有多么困难,他们会丧失信心的。

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