One rescued in Mexico mine explosion, others still missing

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 04, 2012 8:27 AM
One rescued in Mexico mine explosion, others still missing

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - One miner has been rescued following a coal mine collapse in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila Friday morning, and five more remain trapped, the mine operator said.

The explosion was triggered when a large amount of methane gas ignited, causing 100 metric tons (110 tons) of coal to collapse, mine owner Altos Hornos de Mexico (AHMSA) said in a statement.

Nearly 300 miners evacuated the mine without incident, the company said.

Coahuila's public safety secretary, Jorge Luis Moran, told Milenio television that rescue workers were trying to locate the missing miners.

"We are devoted to the rescue of the affected miners," said Moran. He added that AHMSA has a reputation for safe operations.

The explosion marks the second coal mine disaster at a small coal mine in northern Mexico in the past 10 days.

A July 25 explosion killed seven miners, highlighting lax safety conditions in small mines that are often poorly regulated.

Men have mined the largely unregulated, small "pozito" mines that dot Coahuila for more than a century.

A 2006 methane explosion at the much larger Piedras Negras mine, owned by Grupo Mexico, killed 65 miners.

(Reporting By Liz Diaz; Additional reporting and writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Leslie Adler)

(This story corrects the name of the public safety secretary in the fourth paragraph)