Mexico adopts new plan to save 10 trapped miners after flooding
Rescuers had scheduled the mission for the weekend, but encountered complications.
MORE IN THIS SECTION
On Monday, Aug. 15, rescue crews in Mexico trying to free 10 miners trapped in a collapsed shaft since Aug. 3, are now making another rescue attempt with permanent water pumping in place, and after identifying empty spaces to drill.
Crews want to drill 20 six-inch holes to a depth of 60 meters in the abandoned Conchas Norte mine and also plan to inject cement to make a barrier to prevent the passage of water between the mines.
"At 4 o'clock in the morning (9.00 GMT) we had one meter 30 centimeters of water level and we were preparing to enter through shaft two, but this sudden entry made us stop the whole plan we had to enter and we had to give way to another plan," Laura Velázquez, National Coordinator of Civil Protection, said in a press conference.
The Mexican Government announced that the conditions were in place for a rescue attempt on Friday, Aug. 12, conditions worsened and made it impossible.
The miners have been trapped since Aug. 3 at 1:35 p.m..
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also acknowledged on the complications on Monday at the Conchas Norte mine, abandoned since 1996.
"We were doing well, unfortunately the mine collapsed even more, above all a water leak from the abandoned neighboring mine, which is the one that accumulates more water, and when we were bailing out the water from the coal mine where the 10 trapped miners are, the volume of water increased again," he said.
The government has deployed more than 600 members of the Armed Forces and civilian staff at the mine. They have already pumped more than 249,000 cubic meters of water to be able to enter the mine, but also discovered that the abandoned mine Conchas Norte had an accumulation of 1.9 million cubic meters of water, which led to the complications.
"I have given instructions to reinforce the whole rescue plan, they are pumping around 290 liters per second, we are going to increase the pumping and the mining engineers are making a proposal to make a kind of barrier from one mine to the other," López Obrador detailed.