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11 still trapped in mine after misleading report

04 July 2014, 12:45

Tegucigalpa - An official withdrew his report that eight miners had been rescued from a small, wildcat gold mine in southern Honduras, saying late on Thursday that all 11 men were still trapped following a cave-in the previous day.

Rescue workers using picks and shovels cleared away rubble by hand trying to reach the miners.

Emergencies Commission director Moises Alvarado had said earlier on Thursday that eight of the miners had been rescued and been taken to a hospital. He later said he was given incorrect information by a firefighter at the site.

"The miners are still underground and none of them has been rescued," Alvarado said.

'Mine unstable'

More than 300 Red Cross volunteers, firefighters and people who live near the mine in the town of El Corpus were digging by hand in an effort to reach the miners.

Fire department spokesperson Oscar Triminio said heavy machinery was not being used because the mine "is unstable and could further collapse."

The miners were trapped about 80 metres into the mine, Triminio said.

The mine partially collapsed shortly after 22 miners entered to search for gold on Wednesday, but half were able to get out on their own, he said.

Mayor Luis Rueda said there are more than 50 mines in the area, some of them as much as 200 meters underground.

- AP

Tags honduras

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