Monday, September 1, 2014

Nicaragua: Urgent Attempt to Rescue Gold Miners from El Comal in Bonanza

According to The Latin American Tribune, Nicaraguan authorities continued their search for seven miners who were trapped in the old, unstable El Comal gold deposit located in the north Caribbean municipality of Bonanza, as their family members hoped for a “miracle."

The search operations, which resumed Saturday (August 30), have been difficult due to the dampness of the earth and the high temperatures inside the mine, government spokesperson and First Lady Rosario Murillo, told reporters late Sunday (August 31).

“It is very hot inside and this forces the rescue teams to replace their workers every hour or hour and a half”, she said.

In a report provided by the authorities, interior vice-minister Carlos Najar said that the conditions in which the relief teams were working “are truly suffocating," which has made the task unduly more of a challenge.

COMMENT: On August 29, rescue teams pulled out 20 miners who had been trapped since Thursday (August 28) when the old mine collapsed.

Meanwhile, the families of the remaining seven trapped miners were holding a vigil outside the mine and praying for the rescue of the miners.

Antonia Rodríguez, the mother of miner Juan Carlos Barrera, told journalists that she had faith in God and that the rescue teams would find her son alive. “We are waiting for a miracle to happen”, she said.

Family and friends of the trapped miners have built small shrines around the mine where they pray.

In the local church a mass was dedicated to the rescued miners and the seven who still remain trapped.

According to the government, the 27 miners were trapped on Thursday along with two others, who managed to escape on their own following the collapse.

The authorities explained that after locating the first 20 miners, the rescue teams proceeded to install a set of stairs up to the point of their location and from there started to extricate them.

The rescue task was “very difficult” due to the instability of the earth and the work needed to be carried out very carefully, Lumberto Campbell, the central government delegate, told journalists.

“The conditions, I repeat, of the work of the rescue teams are extremely difficult”, said Murillo, who warned that the rescuers had detected an abyss at a “depth of a few thousand meters."