A miner holds a torch to illuminate the area through a
crack on the floor at the site of a landslide at a gold
mine in San Juan Arriba, on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa.
Photo by Reuters
Rescuers labored with pickaxes and shovels to dig out 11
miners trapped by a landslide at a small gold mine in southern
Honduras, and are close to reaching three of the workers.
The workers were trapped when the entrance of the mine in San
Juan Arriba, 110km south of the capital Tegucigalpa,
collapsed on Wednesday (local time).
Firefighters said they had made contact with three of the
workers, though eight are still missing.
"They are slowly advancing. They are very close to three of
the 11 workers trapped, and maybe they will get to them in
the coming hours," Moises Alvarado, a senior emergency
services official in the region told local radio.
The collapse occurred in a drought-stricken region of
Honduras that had been a gold mining center for Spanish
colonists. The rise in gold prices in recent years had
spurred dozens of small mines to open in the area.
Alvarado said many of the mines did not meet the most basic
safety requirements and that there were no maps of the ,
which was making the rescue operation harder.
"With the three miners we've located, we have auditory
contact. They are banging their picks and shovels and
yelling," said Lieutenant Manuel de Jesus Reyes, a
firefighter in the nearby city of Choluteca. "It seems like
less noise today, but we keep working to get to them and save