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‘Decisive day’ for captive Mexican miners, says President

#Decisive #day #captive #Mexican #miners #President

A major operation to save 10 workers trapped at a flooded coal mine in northern Mexico was nearing a pivotal moment on Saturday, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.

“Today is a crucial day because according to experts we will know if it is possible for the divers to enter safely,” he tweeted.

More than 300 soldiers and other personnel have joined the rescue effort in the state of Coahuila about 1,130 kilometers (700 miles) north of Mexico City, the government said.

After Wednesday’s collapse, five workers managed to escape from the roughly constructed mine, but no survivors have been found since.

The focus was on pumping water from the mine at Agujita in Sabinas municipality to make access safe enough.

Authorities said the three mine shafts went down 60 meters (200 feet) and flood water inside was 30 meters deep on Friday.

“The main problem is the flood, although the pumping equipment is sufficient,” Lopez Obrador said.

The Coahuila state government said miners were digging when they encountered an adjacent area full of water, causing the shaft to collapse and flood.

Family members spent a third night anxiously awaiting news of the recent disaster in Mexico’s main coal-producing region.

“I’m desperate because I don’t know what’s happening and when I’ll see him again,” said Jesus Mireles Romo, whose father was among the missing.

“But I have faith that it’s going to be okay, that they’re all coming out,” he told AFP, his eyes red from crying.

Coahuila has seen a number of fatal mining accidents over the years.

Last year, seven miners died when trapped in the region.

The worst accident was an explosion that killed 65 people at the Pasta de Conchos mine in 2006.

Only two bodies have been recovered following this tragedy and families have repeatedly urged authorities to recover the others.

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#Decisive #day #captive #Mexican #miners #President

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