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Colo. drillers back from Chile to heroes' welcome

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October 17, 2010 02:44 PM EST | AP

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DENVER — Four Colorado men who helped free 33 trapped Chilean miners have returned home to a heroes' welcome.

About 40 people cheered at Denver International Airport Saturday when the four drillers arrived from Chile, including Jeff Hart, of Arvada, who operated the drill that bored its way down to the chamber where the miners were trapped.

The men work for Kansas-based Layne Christensen Co. The four were drilling water wells in Afghanistan for the U.S. Army's forward operating bases when they were called to Chile.

Hart's assistants – Jorge Herrera, Doug Reeves and Matt Staffel – were also cheered. Family members say the drillers were confident they could reach the miners before Christmas.

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

DENVER (AP) – Four Colorado men who helped free 33 trapped Chilean miners have returned home to a heroes' welcome.

About 40 people cheered at Denver International Airport Saturday when the four drillers arrived from Chile, including Jeff Hart, of Arvada, who operated the drill that t bored its way down to the chamber where the miners were trapped.

The men work for Kansas-based Layne Christensen Co. The four were drilling water wells in Afghanistan for the U.S. Army's forward operating bases when they were called to Chile.

Hart's assistants – Jorge Herrera, Doug Reeves and Matt Staffel – were also cheered. Family members say the drillers were confident they cold reach the miners before Christmas.

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com