Death toll from Mexican mine blast rises to 9

AP News
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Posted: May 06, 2011 10:04 PM
Death toll from Mexican mine blast rises to 9

Rescue crews on Friday recovered three more bodies from a coal mine in northern Mexico hit by a gas explosion earlier this week, raising the confirmed death toll to nine.

Excavations continued in the town of San Juan Sabinas, in northern Coahuila state, for five other miners trapped and apparently killed by the blast Tuesday.

Officials have said there is little or no hope anyone survived the explosion at the primitive, vertical-shaft mine. The blast was so powerful it seriously injured a teenager who was working outside the mine. The boy lost an arm.

Fourteen miners were originally trapped in the shaft. Rescuers recovered six bodies before Friday.

Chilean experts called in by the Mexican government to assist at the site praised the recovery effort. But there was no longer any hope of a miraculous rescue like that of the 33 miners in Chile who survived 69 days underground following the Aug. 5 collapse of the San Jose mine.

Late Thursday, authorities reported that a landslide at an opal mine in the western Mexico state of Jalisco killed three people.

The Economy Department said the landslide killed three men at the open-air Pata de Gallo opal mine in Hostotipaquillo in Jalisco. The statement said the men were apparently scavengers looking for the semiprecious stones.