Mexico’s president spoke on Saturday morning of a “decisive day” in the rescue operations for 10 miners trapped underground for three days after three coal pits collapsed and flooded in the northeast of the country.
“Today is a decisive day because, according to the technicians, we will know if there is the possibility that divers can enter without risk” in the mine, explained Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on his Twitter account.
“We continue to work day and night,” he added. “Flooding is the main problem, even if the pumping teams are in sufficient number”.
The three coal pits were flooded over 34 of their 60 meters deep, according to civil protection.
The rescue operations are mobilizing 383 people, the government said.
The accident occurred around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, when miners found while digging an area full of water, the collapse of which caused the flooding.
It is a very dangerous artisanal mine, according to experts.
It is located in Agujitas in the municipality of Las Sabinas, 1,130 km north of the capital Mexico City, in the state of Coahuila, which provides all of the national coal production.
“We have always worked in this sector and it is very difficult to move on,” confided to AFP on Friday Luis Armando, a 48-year-old miner who went to support the relatives of miners trapped underground.
“My father took me to work there (in the mine. We are almost all miners,” he added.
Luis Amando, however, is proud that his three children are studying to escape this job.
The State of Coahuila is used to mining tragedies. In June 2021, seven workers died after an underground collapse in the Múzquiz area.
An accident remains engraved in the memories: 65 miners died on February 19, 2006 in the explosion of a pocket of gas in the Pasta de Conchos mine, controlled by the Grupo México conglomerate.
Sixteen years later, the remains of 63 of the 65 bodies still lie at the bottom of the mine.
Families have been “demanding measures” against accidents for 16 years “and their appeals have not been heard”, lamented the Society of Jesus, which affirms that the Jesuits accompany relatives in their request for justice before the authorities. international.