Four miners died yesterday of gas intoxication at a silver mine in Coahuila.
The accident occurred during construction work at the La Encantada mine when a worker operating a scooptram, similar to a front-end loader, is believed to have lost consciousness.
When three other miners arrived at the scene minutes later to provide assistance they too succumbed to gas poisoning.
The mine’s owner, Canada-based First Majestic Silver Corp., said yesterday on its website that all four workers were carrying the required personal protection equipment, including breathing apparatuses, but did not use it.
An emergency response crew successfully extracted the four victims before they were transported to a local hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families during this tragic time,” said First Majestic CEO Keith Neumeyer. “Safety is a top priority at First Majestic and we will continue to work to prevent such accidents from occurring.”
The company denied earlier reports that there had been an explosion at the mine, located some 700 kilometers northeast of Torreón.
Mining operations were halted after the accident, which is being investigated by the company and Mexican officials, but were expected to resume today, although not in the area where the accident occurred until the investigation is complete.
The Labor Secretariat’s state delegate said inspectors would complete an investigation into the accident by the weekend. The state Attorney General confirmed the four deaths and attributed the cause to carbon monoxide poisoning.
La Encantada is the largest of First Majestic’s six producing silver mines in Mexico.
Source: Milenio (sp)