Mexican miners trapped by floods

The incident was reported Wednesday afternoon, when miners encountered an abandoned tunnel with water flooding the mine, authorities said.

Rescuers managed to extract five people from the mine on Wednesday and are now working to pump water from the flooded area, according to National Civil Protection Coordinator Laura Velazquez, who is overseeing the rescue operation.

“We haven’t slept, we’ve been working day and night, non-stop,” Velazquez said Thursday.

“We are strategically installing pumps in each of these wells to be able to extract the greatest amount of water and have immediate access to the mines and rescue the miners as soon as possible,” she said.

Relatives of a miner's cry.

Early Thursday morning, six different special forces joined the rescue operations, General Agustin Radilla said. However, there has been no update on their findings yet.

“They say the water is rising… I want my husband to be okay,” the wife of a trapped miner, Erika Escobedo, told Reuters.

She told the news agency she had spent “all night monitoring rescue efforts at the site”.

Governor Miguel Riquelme, of the state of Coahuila and Zaragoza, visited the municipality of Sabinas where the mine is located on Thursday.

“Five water extraction pumps totaling 150 horsepower are currently in operation and more submersible pumps are being installed, which are being sent by companies in the area and thus continuing the rescue efforts,” I wrote on Twitter.
Mexican soldiers carry out rescue operations at the coal mine.

Sabinas is no stranger to mining tragedies. In 2006, an explosion at a local mine killed 65 people. In 2011, 14 miners were trapped and confirmed dead following another mine explosion in Sabinas.

According to a statement released by Secretary of Labor and Social Protection of Mexicothe mine where the ten are currently trapped only began operations in January and “has no history of complaints for any type of anomaly”.

During his daily press briefing on Thursday, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said any investigation into the mine would come only after the rescue operation was completed.

“The officials, the authorizations, the inspections, everything, all that, we leave after. We already have the basic information,” he said.

“But let’s not talk about that now, let’s seek to save the miners.”

Reporting provided by Daniela Gonzalez-Roman in New York and Karol Suarez in Mexico City. Previous reporting by Gustavo Valdes and Marlon Sorto.