‘Time is against us’ in an attempt to rescue 10 Mexican miners after 3 days underground According to Reuters
© Reuters. Rescue teams work at the mine shaft of a coal mine that collapsed, trapping miners, in Sabinas, Coahuila state, Mexico, August 6, 2022. REUTERS / Luis Cortes
By Luis Cortes and Daina Beth Solomon
SABINAS, Mexico (Reuters) – Large pumps sucked water from a flooded coal mine in Mexico on Saturday as authorities weighed whether to send divers to try to rescue 10 miners trapped underground. more than three days or not.
Mining workers were stranded at a mine site in the northern border state of Coahuila on Wednesday afternoon when their excavation work caused a tunnel wall to collapse, causing flooding in three wells.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Saturday it would be “decisive” in determining whether divers can safely enter the mine. But by afternoon, Coahuila Governor Miguel Riquelme said the water level was still too high.
“Time is against us,” he told families at the site, Mexican media reported.
Relatives kept on guard outside said they were pinning their hopes on the possibility that the miners had found an airbag.
“We are tired, we are desperate, but with a little hope,” said Cecilia Cruz, adding that she had heard of mining accidents in her hometown of Coahuila for decades before the incident. trapped her grandson, 42 years old. Aged Sergio Cruz.
The possibility of muddy tunnels and underground collapses could make it impossible for rescue teams to find the miners, even with enough water, she noted.
“Do they want to risk their lives more? That would be a bigger tragedy,” she said.
Six divers from the Mexican Task Force were dispatched to support efforts at the mine site, where three wells, each 60 meters (200 feet) deep, were initially more than half submerged.
Five miners managed to escape. One, Fernando Pompa, recounted in an interview with radio station Coahuila how he was pulled above ground in a trolley used to transport coal after the accident created a huge stream of water. giant.
“Hopefully there are some air bubbles,” he said.
According to the Labor Department, the mine, in the city of Sabinas, opened in January and has no “record of complaints for any form of irregularity”.
Sergio Martinez, whose brother Jorge Luis Martinez, 34, is trapped, said workers on the ground told him they heard a thundering noise accompanied by a blast of air when the crash happened. out. They ran to the mine and threw a rope down, pulling the workers up by hand, but could not reach Jorge Luis.
“We’re hoping for a miracle that he can survive,” Martinez said.