Honduran Gold Mine Caves in; 8 Rescued, 3 Remain Trapped (PHOTOS)

By Esther Tanquintic-Misa
July 4, 2014 3:52 PM EST

Honduran Gold Mine Caves in; 8 Rescued, 3 Remain Trapped (PHOTOS)

At least three people remain trapped when a gold mine in southern Honduras caved-in on Wednesday. Eight have been successfully rescued.

The workers of the gold mine near the town of El Corpus, Honduras, 70 miles from Tegucigalpa, the country's capital, were inside when a landslide blocked the mine's exit.

The eight men have been trapped for 26 hours before their rescue. Emergencies Commission director Moises Alvarado told AP they have been taken to a hospital. At least one is being treated for bone fractures.

"We have had contact with three of the workers that are trapped and we are working carefully removing earth and stone to reach and rescue them," Lieutenant Manuel de Jesus Reyes, a firefighter in the nearby city of Choluteca, was quoted by The Mirror.

Rescue workers composed of over 300 Red Cross volunteers, firefighters and people were using picks and shovels to reach the miners because the mine "is unstable and could further collapse," fire department spokesman Oscar Triminio told AP, stressing the accident occurred in a vertical tunnel at about 80m (260ft) deep.

"The situation is complex, it is difficult because the tunnels are narrow, they branch off in a number of directions," Moises Alvarado, a senior emergency services official in the region, told Reuters.

Informal mines are common in Honduras. This particular mine however, according to Honduran deputy Environment Minister Carlos Pineda, was illegal and had been ordered closed by mining authorities several months ago.

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