Trapped miners in Mexico: sudden rise in water levels, anger of families
Eva Deschamps / August 15, 2022
While rescue workers are still trying to reach the 10 workers who have been trapped underground for ten days in the north of the country, the rising waters could complicate operations.
A sudden rise in the water level occurred in the flooded mine where ten people are trapped in northern Mexico, which could complicate the rescue operation, announced the authorities. The water level of the No. 2 shaft, which had been established until Friday at 70 cm and could allow the access of the rescue, reaches now 12,92 m, underlined the authorities in a communiqué, adding that engineers evaluate the situation on the spot and the reasons of this sudden rise of the water level.
In shafts 3 and 4, the water reached 15.5 m and 12.5 m respectively, an increase of 8 to 10 m compared to the levels recorded on Friday, again according to the statement. Engineers will implement a new strategy to allow the evacuation of water from the mine of El Pinabete, said the authorities. This news represents nevertheless a particularly hard blow for the families of the miners who expressed on Saturday the fear of an intervention too late to save their relatives.
On Wednesday, a diver had entered one of the shafts but was unable to move forward because he ran into obstacles to enter the galleries, according to the governor of the state of Coahuila, Miguel Riquelme. Several hundred people are involved in the rescue effort, including an underwater drone, to save the miners, whose relatives are increasingly worried as time goes on.
According to authorities, the miners were performing excavation work on August 3 when they broke through a water table. Coahuila, Mexico's main coal-producing region, has seen a series of fatal mining accidents over the years. The worst was at the Pasta de Conchos mine in 2006, when a firedamp killed 65 miners.