SABINAS, Mexico – Efforts are underway by hundreds of rescuers to save ten workers trapped in a flooded coal mine for more than two weeks about 70 miles south of the Texas border.
Mexico’s civil protection agency reports the workers were in the Pinabete mine on August 3 when the collapse happened and escape routes flooded.
Despite efforts by hundreds of rescues to reach the stranded men, officials say heavy rains, additional flooding and debris have hindered efforts.
Mexican authorities have contacted companies in both the U.S. and Germany for their assistance in rescue efforts.
Officials have not said if they have found any indications that the miners are still alive or how much breathable air is available in the shaft.
It’s estimated the mine is more than 1,900 feet deep, and rescuers hope that the men have found a pocket that has not been inundated by floodwaters and still has sufficient oxygen.
"The strategy that has been implemented in the Pinabete mine to rescue our ten miners is the right one," said Laura Velázquez Alzúa, head of the civil protection agency.
The weather has not cooperated with efforts and has made the rescue operations more challenging.
The remnants of a tropical disturbance moved through the area in mid-August, dumping several inches of rain.
Data from Mexico’s national weather service showed at least three inches of rainfall fell over the region during rescue efforts.
Mexico’s civil protection agency said more than a dozen pumps are working to remove around 170 gallons of water every second from the mine.
The mine weaves through northern Mexico’s coal country, and it is believed that water levels in parts of the shaft could be more than 100 feet deep.
The head of the civil protection agency has pledged the work will not stop, and the country’s government will continue to provide updates on the rescue efforts.