Wednesday, December 6, 2023

1 body recovered after 7 trapped in flooded coal mine in Coahuila

Rescue workers have found one body after an accident left seven miners trapped in a flooded coal mine in Coahuila on Friday.

On Friday night more than 300 rescue workers were at the site, located in Rancherías, a community in the municipality of Múzquiz, but were unable to enter the mine due to flooding.

It wasn’t until Saturday morning, after four pumps were used to drain the mine, that a rescue effort could begin.

Governor Miguel Riquelme was at the site and expressed confidence that the miners would be found safe, saying that the state would dedicate the necessary resources to the rescue effort.

“The priority at all times will be the safety of the miners,” he said.

Miners' families conduct a vigil
Miners’ families keep a vigil before a makeshift altar outside the mine in Rancherías, Coahuila.

But one miner’s body was located at 7 a.m. Two hours later, rescuers were able to remove it from the mine.

The accident occurred at 12:50 p.m. and came after some heavy rainfall in the area. The small-scale mine is about 800 meters long and 100 meters deep, a deep and narrow open coal pit with steep sides, according to the Associated Press.

The accident is a tragic reminder of past mining accidents in Coahuila, such as the 2006 methane explosion that claimed the lives of 65 miners at the Pasta de Conchos mine. In that case, only two bodies were recovered; rubble and toxic gas hindered the recovery of the rest. The federal government has announced plans to recover the remaining bodies, something the families of the victims have been demanding since the accident occurred.

The US $75-million project is expected to take four years.

With reports from El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp), AP (en)

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