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Mexico uses underwater drone in search of captured miners

#Mexico #underwater #drone #search #captured #miners

Rescuers will use an underwater drone to rescue 10 workers trapped in a flooded coal mine in northern Mexico for five days, authorities said on Monday.

The Navy-supplied device has a high-resolution camera and light to detect potential obstacles without endangering lives, said Laura Velazquez, national civil defense coordinator.

Work continued to pump water out of the mine at Agujita in northern Coahuila state to make it safe enough for rescue workers to go inside.

The military said it hoped rescuers could enter one of the shafts mid-week this week when the water level drops to 1.5 meters (about five feet).

The mine shafts descend about 60 meters and the water in the shaft that rescuers plan to enter was 19.4 meters deep, down from more than 30 meters originally, officials said.

“We are rushing to remove the water so rescuers can get in,” said President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who visited the site on Sunday and urged increased efforts to rescue miners.

About 300 liters are pumped out every second, he told reporters in Mexico City.

“Everyone has faith. Nobody thinks about anything other than rescue,” he said.

Authorities said the miners were digging when they encountered an adjacent area full of water.

Five workers were able to escape from the roughly built mine after Wednesday’s accident, but there was no contract with the others.

With every hour that passed, the relatives became increasingly desperate and reluctant to speak to the media.

Authorities reinforced a security perimeter around the mine, about 1,130 kilometers (700 miles) north of Mexico City.

According to the government, several hundred soldiers and other personnel, including six military divers, are participating in the rescue effort.

The attorney general’s office said Sunday it had asked the Labor Department to provide information on safety inspections being conducted at mines in the area to determine the cause of the accident.

Coahuila, Mexico’s main coal producing region, has seen a number of fatal mining incidents 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 the families have repeatedly urged Mexican authorities to recover the others.

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#Mexico #underwater #drone #search #captured #miners

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