Obstructions Slow Bid To Save Trapped Mexican Miners
Sumaira FH Published August 12, 2022 | 08:40 AM
Agujita , Mexico, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Aug, 2022 ) :Rescuers trying to enter a flooded Mexican coal mine where 10 workers have been trapped for more than a week have encountered obstructions blocking their advance, authorities said Thursday.
A soldier wearing a helmet and military fatigues and equipped with a scuba tank descended into one of the mine shafts in a metal cage on Wednesday, emerging minutes later visibly wet.
The rescue team made four attempts to explore the crudely constructed El Pinabete mine in the northern state of Coahuila, but debris prevented them from entering the main tunnel below, officials said.
"They found that they don't have room to move forward. There are obstructions," Defense Minister Luis Cresensio Sandoval said.
Rescuers would keep trying to gain access, the general told reporters in Mexico City.
Two underwater drones have been deployed in the operation in Agujita, as have hundreds of soldiers and other rescuers, 25 water pumps and seven drills.
"We will be evaluating it throughout the day. We have to be careful not to endanger anyone," civil defense national coordinator Laura Velazquez said.
The worst was an explosion that claimed 65 lives at the Pasta de Conchos mine in 2006.
Frustration was growing in the tight-knit mining community with each passing day.
"It's been eight days now. We're running out of hope because they (authorities) don't give us any information to give us hope," a miner and volunteer rescuer who did not want to be named told AFP.
The government's announcement on Wednesday that rescuers were close to entering the mine was greeted with caution by anxious relatives.
"It has to be a message of support," said the artist, who put his work -- reminiscent of Mexican muralism and Pablo Picasso's "Guernica" painting -- on display near the mine entrance with the help of relatives.
Angelica Solano, a 58-year-old housewife living nearby, came bearing trays of food for relatives and rescuers.
"Every time there's a disaster or someone needs our support, we have always done it as a family," she said.
"We have to put ourselves in the shoes of the people who always need us," she added.