Image credits: Nicolas J.
News Article

Coal Mine Collapses in Coahuila

By Fernando Mares | Thu, 08/04/2022 - 13:23

This Wednesday, inhabitants of Sabina, Coahuila reported the collapse of a coal mine known as Las Conchas. The collapse led to the swift mobilization of all levels of government and civil organizations. Nevertheless, much uncertainty remains regarding the accident.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (STPS) reported that this Wednesday at 13:35 p.m., the Las Conchas mine, which started operations in January 2022, collapsed while workers were carrying out excavation activities. According to preliminary reports, the workers reached an inner wall separating them from a water-filled adjacent area, which after collapsing caused flooding that trapped them. “The mine started operations in January, to date we do not have reports regarding irregularities,” STPS stated.

The accident occurred at a 60m depth. The mine is located next to the Sabinas River. According to preliminary reports, this could be the source of the water that caused the collapse. 

Civil Protection personnel reported that three workers could escape through an old mine and asked for help. According to Reuters, three workers could be rescued so far, but 10 workers remain trapped.

President López Obrador instructed Laura Velázquez, Head, Civil Protection to go to Las Conchas mine to coordinate rescue measures. He also announced the deployment of over 92 soldiers, which includes specialists and four rescue dog units. The president assured that state and federal authorities are coordinating their efforts to rescue the trapped miners.  

Coahuila’s Attorney General, Gerardo Márquez, reported that no positive result has been achieved this Thursday after seven hours of works. He added that they are expecting the mine to drain the facilities to facilitate the rescue. Márquez reported that to date, there are 10 workers missing and five who sustained injuries.

The Secretary of the Government of Coahuila, Fernando de las Fuentes, stated that some companies expressed their support to the rescue efforts by offering submersible pumps and rescue crews. De las Fuentes added that if there is any irregularity that could have caused the collapse, authorities will investigate it. 

On its Twitter account, the Mexican Mining Chamber (CAMIMEX) expressed its sorrow and extended its condolences to the victims’ families. CAMIMEX stated that Las Conchas is not owned by any affiliated member but nevertheless said it will be in touch with the authorities to coordinate efforts and support rescue works 

Family members of the trapped miners have gathered near the collapse, hoping to hear about any potential updates. Reportedly, a list of seven possible names of the 10 workers trapped has been created, but authorities have not released any official statements as of the time of writing.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Forbes, El País, El Financiero, Milenio
Photo by:   Nicolas J.
Fernando Mares Fernando Mares Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst