Large pumps sucked water from a flooded coal mine in Mexico on Sunday (August 7) as authorities weighed whether to send divers to try to save ten miners who have been trapped underground for more than four days.
The miners in the northern border state of Coahuila became trapped on Wednesday (August 3) afternoon when their excavation work caused a tunnel wall to collapse, triggering flooding in three wells.
Relatives keeping vigil outside said they were pinning their hopes on the possibility the miners had found a pocket of air.
According to relatives, the possibility of mud-filled tunnels and underground collapses could make it impossible for rescue teams to search for the miners, even if enough water is extracted.
Six divers from Mexican Special Forces were sent to aid the effort at the mine, where three wells, each 60 meters (200 feet) deep, were initially more than half-flooded.
Five people were able to escape the accident.
The mine in the municipality of Sabinas opened in January and had no “record of complaints for any type of abnormality,” according to the Labor Ministry.