Large pumps on Saturday sucked water from a flooded coal mine in Mexico as authorities weighed whether to send divers to try to save 10 miners who have been trapped underground for more than three days.
The miners became trapped at a mine in the northern border state of Coahuila on Wednesday afternoon when their excavation work caused a tunnel wall to collapse, triggering flooding in three wells.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that Saturday would be “decisive” in determining whether divers could safely enter the mine, but by the afternoon, Coahuila Governor Miguel Riquelme said water levels were still too high.
“Time is against us,” he told families at the site, Mexican media reported.
Relatives keeping vigil outside said they were pinning their hopes on the possibility the miners had found a pocket of air.
“We’re tired, we’re desperate, but with a little bit [of] hope,” said Cecilia Cruz, adding that she had heard about mining accidents in her native Coahuila for decades before the incident that trapped her nephew, 42-year-old Sergio Cruz.
The possibility of mud-filled tunnels and underground collapses could make it impossible for rescue teams to search for the miners, even if enough water is extracted, she said.
“Do they want to risk more lives? It would be an even bigger tragedy,” she added.
Six divers from the Mexican Special Forces were sent to aid the effort at the mine, where three wells, each 60m deep, were initially more than half-flooded.
Five miners managed to escape. One, Fernando Pompa, recounted in an interview with a Coahuila radio station how he was hauled above ground in a cart used to transport coal after the accident unleashed a huge gush of water.
“The hope is that there’s a little bubble of air,” he said.
The mine, in the municipality of Sabinas, opened in January and had no “record of complaints for any type of abnormality,” the Mexican Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare said.
Sergio Martinez, whose brother Jorge Luis Martinez, 34, is trapped, said that workers above ground told him they heard a thundering noise accompanied by a jet of air when the accident happened. They raced to the mine and threw down a rope, pulling up workers by hand, but did not reach Jorge Luis.
“We hope there’s a miracle so he gets out alive,” Martinez said.
The rivalry between Asia’s two biggest countries has extended into outer space. After India’s landing of its Chandrayaan-3 rover on the moon last month — becoming the first country to put a spacecraft near the lunar south pole and breaking China’s record for the southernmost lunar landing — a top Chinese scientist has said claims about the accomplishment are overstated. Ouyang Ziyuan (歐陽自遠), lauded as the father of China’s lunar exploration program, told the Chinese-language Science Times newspaper that the Chandrayaan-3 landing site, at 69 degrees south latitude, was nowhere close to the pole, defined as between 88.5 and 90 degrees. On Earth,
A cat wearing a black and yellow security vest strolls nonchalantly past security guards lined outside a Philippine office building waiting to receive instructions for their shift. Conan, a six-month-old stray, joined the security team of the Worldwide Corporate Center in the capital, Manila, several months ago. He is one of the lucky moggies unofficially adopted by security guards across the city, where thousands of cats live on the street. While the cats lack the security skills of dogs — and have a tendency to sleep on the job — their cuteness and company have endeared them to bored security guards working 12-hour
He is better known for rallying global support for Ukraine, but US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday picked up another favorite tool of diplomacy — his guitar. The lifelong music fan turned top US diplomat showed off his guitar chops, as he launched a new initiative of music diplomacy through which the US is to send top artists to countries including China and Saudi Arabia. After performances in the US Department of State’s formal reception room by the likes of jazz icon Herbie Hancock, Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame, and rising young pop singer Gayle, Blinken took
NEW ENERGY: Mark Lambert, the next deputy assistant secretary for China and Taiwan, is to head China House, which has been criticized for slowing policymaking Washington on Friday named veteran diplomat Mark Lambert as its top China policy official at the US Department of State at a time when ties between the two strategic rivals remain fraught over issues including Taiwan, trade and US curbs on Beijing’s access to US technology. Lambert is to be deputy assistant secretary for China and Taiwan, and is to head the Office of China Coordination, informally known as China House, the State Department said in a release. The division was created late last year to unify and better coordinate China policies across regions and issues, but has faced criticism for adding