Miners in Mexico trapped by flooding

The incident was reported on Wednesday afternoon when miners encountered an abandoned tunnel and water flooded the mine, authorities said.

Rescuers managed to extract five people from the mine on Wednesday and are now pumping water out of the flooded area, said national civil protection coordinator Laura Velazquez, who oversees the rescue operation.

“We didn’t sleep, we work day and night, without a break,” Velasquez said on Thursday.

“We strategically put pumps in each of these wells to be able to extract the most water and have direct access to the mines and rescue the miners as soon as possible,” she said.

Relatives of the miner's cry.

According to General Agustín Radiglia, six special forces divers joined the rescue effort early Thursday morning. However, there has been no update on their findings yet.

“They say the water is rising… I want my husband to get out all right,” said Erica Escobedo, the wife of a trapped miner. Reuters.

She told the news agency that she spent “all night watching the rescue work on site.”

The governor of the states of Coahuila and Zaragoza, Miguel Riquelme, visited the municipality of Sabinas, where the mine is located, on Thursday.

“Five water intake pumps with a total capacity of 150 horsepower are currently in operation, and other submersible pumps are being installed, which are sent by companies in the region, and thus the rescue work continues,” he tweeted.
Mexican soldiers carry out rescue work in a coal mine.

Sabinas is familiar with mountain tragedies. In 2006, an explosion at a local mine killed 65 people. In 2011, 14 miners were trapped and presumed dead after another explosion at a mine in Sabinas.

According to a statement released Minister of Labor and Social Security of Mexicothe mine, which currently houses ten people, only started operations in January and “has no history of complaints of any anomalies.”

At his daily press briefing on Thursday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that any investigation into the mine would only begin after the rescue operation was completed.

“Responsible persons, permits, checks, everything, we leave all this for later. We already have basic information,” he said.

“But let’s not talk about it now, let’s try to save the miners.”

Reporting by Daniela Gonzalez-Roman from New York and Carol Suarez from Mexico City. Previous report by Gustavo Valdes and Marlon Sorto.