Mexico president urges increased effort to save trapped miners
Published: Aug 08, 2022 11:05 PM
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador called Sunday for intensified efforts to save 10 workers trapped in a flooded coal mine, during a visit to see firsthand the rescue operation.

Relatives of the missing were becoming increasingly desperate four days after the mine flooded in the northern state of Coahuila, fearing time is running out to bring them out alive.

Nearly 400 soldiers and other personnel, including six military scuba divers, have joined the rescue effort, but so far it has been too dangerous to enter the mine, authorities said.

"We have to do everything we are doing and more" to find the missing miners, Lopez Obrador told reporters during his visit to the site in Agujita.

"I want it to be as soon as possible," the president added.

The focus has been on pumping out water from the mine to make it safe enough to descend into the shafts, which are 60 meters deep.

"There is progress. Water levels continue to drop. Much larger volumes continue to be extracted," said Coahuila Governor Miguel Angel Riquelme.

Rescuers were ready to enter the mine "as soon as the levels drop," he added.

Five workers managed to escape from the crudely constructed mine in the initial aftermath of the disaster, but since then, no survivors have been found.

Lopez Obrador had previously declared Saturday "a decisive day" for the operation.

But by the end of the day, the water inside the mine had receded only about 9.5 meters from the initial 34 meters, authorities told relatives.

Liliana Torres, the niece of one of the missing workers, said that she had witnessed the relentlessness of rescuers who "do not stop all day," but added that the families were increasingly "desperate."