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Mexican officials say they are on the verge of accessing trapped miners

#Mexican #officials #verge #accessing #trapped #miners

Mexican authorities said Friday they were able to enter the flooded coal mine, where 10 workers have been trapped for more than a week.

“We have all the prerequisites to go there today … to search and rescue the miners,” Laura Velazquez, the national civil defense coordinator, said during President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s morning news briefing.

Velazquez said the rescue will be possible once “97 percent of the water” has been extracted from the 50-meter-deep mine in the town of Agujita, in northern Coahuila state.

“The necessary resources for search and rescue have been prepared,” she added.

The water level in one of the three wells that rescue workers will enter was lowered from a height of 30 meters (98 feet) to just 70 centimeters (27 inches) the day after the accident that flooded the mine defenses, Minister Luis said Cresensio Sandoval.

The other two wells still have 3.9 and 4.7 meters of water.

Authorities believe 1.5 meters is an acceptable water level to gain access to the roughly constructed El Pinabete mine.

“Definitely we will keep pumping… The process is slow but we don’t want to take any risks,” added Velazquez.

There have been no signs of life from the 10 miners trapped inside since the August 3 accident.

Five miners managed to escape after the first accident, in which excavation workers encountered an adjacent area filled with water.

Several hundred rescuers, including soldiers and military divers, are participating in the effort to save the miners, whose families held a vigil for those trapped underground Thursday night.

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#Mexican #officials #verge #accessing #trapped #miners

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