Rescuers are lowering capsules containing rehydration tablets, glucose and oxygen down a hole to 33 miners who have been trapped half-mile underground for over two weeks.

A second bore hole punched into the chamber on Monday where the miners are trapped and a third probe was nearing the spot, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne reported.

The hole that reached the miners on Sunday will continue to be used to lower supplies, the second will be for communication and the third will provide ventilation, Golborne said, reports Associated Press.

Above ground, doctors and psychological experts are debating how to keep them sane during the estimated four months it will take to dig a tunnel wide enough to get them out of the safety chamber 2,200ft (670m) underground where they have been since 5 August.

The miners’ relatives are suing and claim their loved ones were put at risk working in a mine known for unstable shafts and rock falls.