Debris and darkness hamper rescue efforts at flooded mine in Mexico

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Debris prevented Mexican army divers from descending on their first attempt into the depths of a flooded coal mine in northern Mexico where 10 miners have been trapped for a week, it said Defense Minister on Thursday.

The miners were trapped in a mine in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila on August 3 when their excavation work caused a tunnel wall to collapse, causing parts of the underground mine to flood.

As of Thursday, Mexican authorities had managed to drastically reduce the amount of water, which had initially reached 30 meters, but have had difficulty sending rescue teams, even in preliminary exercises to assess whether conditions would be safe for a rescue mission. bailing out.

Two military divers entered one of three flooded mine shafts Wednesday after a miner and rescue professional dove four times to clear debris. However, they were unable to gain full access into the mine.

“It was obstructed,” Defense Minister Luis Cresencio said at a press conference on Thursday.

“They found that they don’t have room to move forward, they have obstructions (…) there are still some poles there, even with the lights they carry to be able to see inside, they don’t have the visibility they need to identify what they find” Cresence explained.

The minister added that the authorities will continue to try to enter the mine, while ensuring the safety of the rescue teams. The water depth in the three wells is about 9 meters, 7 meters) and 5 meters, respectively.

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