Underground miners in Mexico: the president on site
Eva Deschamps / August 8, 2022
Ten miners are trapped underground in a mine in northeastern Mexico after three coal shafts collapsed and flooded. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador went to the scene, asking rescue workers to do more to save the ten trapped men.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has called on rescue workers to do more to save the 10 miners trapped underground since Wednesday in northeastern Mexico after three coal shafts collapsed and flooded.
We must continue working to save the miners. We must continue to do what we are doing and more, said the president during a visit to the site of the accident in the state of Coahuila. I hope it will be as soon as possible, he added to reporters.
I will see how the rescue is going. I am going to see how the situation is going, said the president announcing his visit to Agujita in the town of Las Sabinas.
Nearly 400 rescue workers are mobilized to try to save the ten miners trapped by 60 meters of depth, half of which was flooded.
The president had spoken on Saturday of a decisive day for the rescue operations: We will know if there is the possibility that the divers can enter (the mine) without risk. However, the divers could not enter on Saturday because the water level (34 meters of flooding) had only dropped by 9.5 meters.
The divers said they did not know when they could descend, Alicia Huerta, sister-in-law of one of the ten miners underground, told AFP at the scene.
The rescue team is using about 20 pumps. However, experts fear new infiltrations from a nearby mine.
On Saturday evening, relatives attended a mass near the improvised camp where they have gathered since Wednesday, away from the relief zone cordoned off by the authorities. As the sole producer of Mexican coal, the state of Coahuila is used to mining tragedies. In June 2021, seven workers died after an underground collapse.
On February 19, 2006, 65 miners died in a gas pocket explosion underground at Pasta de Conchos, a mine controlled by the conglomerate Grupo México. Sixteen years later, 63 of the 65 bodies still lie at the bottom of the mine.
For 16 years the families have been demanding measures against the accidents and their appeals have not been heard, lamented the Society of Jesus, which says that the Jesuits accompany the relatives in their request for justice before international bodies.
In October 2010 in Chile, 33 workers were able to get out of a copper mine, almost 700 meters deep, in the Atacama desert after 69 days underground and a landslide.