Mexico | The process of rescuing a miner can take from six to 11 months

(Mexico City) The search for the 10 missing miners in three coal pits that flooded northeastern Mexico for three weeks could take six to eleven months, families said Thursday, which they said are “desperate.”

Posted at 5:56 p.m.

They have no evidence of miners’ lives underground since August 3. The authorities have never mentioned their deaths and say they continue to carry out rescue operations, even if a fatal outcome appears inevitable.

“We are desperate. We don’t know what to do. We cannot accept this,” the sister of one of the miners trapped underground in the El Benabit mine in Coahuila state told AFP.

We were hoping it would take a month. But almost a year is not possible. Guadalupe Capriales, who is also the sister of a missing miner, added.

The families had just met the head of the Civil Protection, Laura Velasquez, who explained them the authorities’ plan.

The strategy proposed by M.I Velázquez includes three “options” being evaluated, one of which is the opening of a tunnel with “inclined access ramps” to access the corridors of the mine, as well as water pumping.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced Thursday that the plan would be submitted to family members for approval, before it was presented publicly on Friday.

Photo of Moses Castillo, Associated Press Archives

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

The mine overflow occurred during excavation work causing the accumulated water to flow into a nearby mine.

Five workers managed to escape but ten are missing.

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The original plan was to pump water into the mine to let in divers and rescue workers. But, after several days of effort, the level suddenly rose.

The Mexican government has requested assistance from American and German companies to assist with relief operations.

The state of Coahuila provides nearly all of the coal that Mexico produces, most of the time under precarious security conditions for the miners.

Several accidents occurred in the region, the most important of which was on February 19, 2006: 65 miners were killed in a coal mine explosion. Only two bodies were recovered.

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