Sabinas, Coah.- The hope of accelerating the pumping of water in the “El Pinabete” mine to reduce the level of the flood and start yesterday with the rescue of the 10 workers trapped since Wednesday ran into the delay of the works.
In addition to the slowness of the work, desperation grew among the relatives due to the lack of information from the authorities at all levels and the fear for the lives of their loved ones almost 72 hours after the accident.
After Thursday night optimism spread among rescuers before the arrival of special machinery, hundreds of volunteers, brigade members and soldiers dedicated the day to just installing the equipment.
In the joint statement, for example, it was reported that there were already 19 high-capacity pumps on the site, but during the day they were unable to put any of them into operation.
Until 7:00 p.m. they began to introduce a pump into the mine shaft and they still had to connect their hose and lower their equipment about 60 meters to start extracting the water.
Relatives of the victims demanded official silence and that the works be blocked with black plastic and delimited with fences.
Personnel from the Coahuila Prosecutor’s Office collected particular signs from the miners, raising pessimism about saving them alive.
Santiago Cecilio Moreno Leija, whose brother and nephew are inside the mine, said that he, a lifelong miner, is willing to go down and look for that “bell” of air, even with diving equipment.
“There is hope,” he said last night. “I know that inside the mine there is an air pocket, it is about 60 meters wide and 6 meters high, they can be there.”
Although the relatives accept that the air hood may have been removed from where the mining work was being carried out at the time of the accident, they consider that the current could have carried them to that site.
“Tomorrow they are going to authorize me to go down, because if the divers (from the Army) don’t go down, I’m going to go down,” Moreno said.
“They are going to let me down into this hole with their diving equipment,” he said. “I’ve been pulling since I was a kid in mining and that gives me the courage to go down them, it depends on the depth of the water, too.”
After accompanying the rescue teams where engineers from mining companies, volunteers and the military collaborate, as well as federal and state government personnel, Moreno said that in the next few hours the largest water pump they have on the site will start operating.
“They are doing everything possible to drain the water, that’s why I tell the families to calm down, we have to wait, I think that tomorrow the water level will drop.”
Meanwhile, behind the fence of the works, other family members wait for information about the progress of the pumping, but nobody takes them into account.
This is the case of Rolando Mireles, his mother and brothers, who await news of his father José Luis Mireles, 44 years old.
“We see that they work, but they don’t give us concrete information, we don’t know, just what we managed to hear,” he says in the shade of a tent that they themselves brought.
“That is, we do see movement, but we do not know what is happening. We ask and they tell us that the level did drop, but a little bit, it is the same as yesterday (Thursday).”
Like them, other relatives who are in another area, where the jobs are not visible, were all Friday without receiving information about the jobs, the water level in the mine and the prospects for the jobs.
…And Rally Riquelme
The Governor of Coahuila, Miguel Riquelme, a PRI member, yesterday left the area of the mining tragedy in Sabinas to give the flag for the “Coahuila 1000 Desert Rally 2022” race, which will run from south to north and from east to west across the state.
Although the tricolor assured that he was aware of the rescue efforts, the decision generated annoyance among the relatives of the 10 trapped miners and among users of social networks.
“Given the situation in the coal mine,” said the Governor, “I will be on the lookout and I will review the rescue work of the trapped people, as well as the unrestricted support for their families and the personnel who are in said work, so that I will only carry out the starting signal”.
However, the President also got into one of the racing vehicles, which was also done by other officials, such as the former Mayor of Saltillo and today Secretary of State Social Inclusion and Development, Manolo Jiménez.
“The families of #miners are waiting for terrible news,” one user tweeted. “During this day (yesterday) there have been no reports of how the coal pit rescue is going, but @mrikelme takes the day and enjoys, together with @manolojim, #Coahuila1000.”