Disasters & Accidents

5 Confirmed dead in Mexico mining accident

Mexico City, Jun 9 (EFE).- Another body has been found at the coal mine in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila where seven men were trapped last week by flooding, bringing the confirmed death toll to five, a miners’ rights group said Wednesday.

“We regret greatly the death of Carlos Moreno, who has been recovered from the Muzquiz mine,” Familia Pasta de Conchos – comprising kin of some of the 65 men killed in 2006 in a gas explosion at the Pasta de Conchos mine in Coahuila – said. “We send our solidarity and affection to his family, friends and co-workers.”

Familia Pasta de Conchos identified the four miners found dead over the course of last weekend as Mauricio Cortes, Pedro Ramirez, Humberto Rodriguez and Gonzalo Alberto Cruz.

The accident happened late Friday and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said via social media that National Guard and army troops were dispatched to the mine to aid the rescue effort.

Authorities say that it appears a flood caused the roof and walls of the mine to collapse. Industrial pumps were brought in to remove the water from the mine and make it possible for search teams to enter.

In the wake of the collapse, the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center said last Saturday that a formal complaint was presented to the relevant authorities last year about “terrible conditions” at the mine in Muzquiz.

The Center said that in October 2020, it joined Familia Pasta de Conchos to write to the director of Mexico’s state-owned CFE electric utility requesting a meeting on mine safety.

The missive to Manuel Bartlett included claims that two firms hired by the CFE to extract coal for power plants failed to meet health and safety standards.

But the CFE said in response to the statement from the human rights organization that the Muzquiz mine was not one of its suppliers.

The accident at Muzquiz has revived memories of the Feb. 19, 2006, disaster at Pasta de Conchos. The bodies of all but two of the 65 miners killed remain buried in the mine. EFE ia/dr

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