Three dead, 1 missing in Mexican coal mine collapse

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 26, 2011 10:33 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Three miners were killed and one other was presumed dead after a coal mine collapsed in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila early on Friday, a senior government official said.

Labor Minister Javier Lozano announced the deaths of the three miners on his Twitter account.

About 132 miners were working in the Esmeralda mine operated by Minera del Norte, an affiliate of Mexican steelmaker Altos Hornos de Mexico, when the accident occurred.

"I believe in all honesty that they are presumably dead," Lozano told a Mexican radio station shortly before rescuers began pulling bodies from the mine.

In May, 14 workers were killed in an explosion at another coal mine in the northern Mexican state.

Lozano said Mexican officials will investigate to ensure there were no violations at the large-scale mine, located in San Juan de Sabinas, about 78 miles south of the U.S. border.

Altos, among the biggest steelmakers in Mexico, deployed 66 rescue workers to the collapsed mine, the company said in a statement.

(Reporting by Rachel Uranga; Editing by Paul Simao)