Eleven miners are trapped in a Honduras gold mine

3 July 2014 (Last Updated July 3rd, 2014 18:30)

Eleven miners have been trapped in an underground gold mine in southern Honduras after a landslide closed its exit.

Eleven miners have been trapped in an underground gold mine in southern Honduras after a landslide closed its exit.

The 260ft-deep mine is located in San Juan Arriba, south of the Honduras capital of Tegucigalpa.

Initial reports claimed that eight workers were rescued; however, Emergencies Commission director Moises Alvarado later clarified that the data given by a firefighter was incorrect.

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

"Rescue teams are not using any heavy machinery in the rescue effort as the mine is unstable and could cave in further."

Honduras president Juan Orlando Hernandez tweeted saying that the lack of communication in the area caused the rescue workers to give them false information.

More than 300 Red Cross volunteers and firefighters are working to rescue the trapped miners. They are using picks and shovels to clear the rubble and reach the miners by hand.

Choluteca city firefighting department lieutenant Manuel de Jesus Reyes was quoted by the Daily Mirror as saying that: "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."

Choluteca firefighting department head Siriaco Diaz said that oxygen is being supplied to miners by a hose and the workers are communicating with them. Rescue teams are not using any heavy machinery in the rescue effort as the mine is unstable and could cave-in further.

El Corpus town mayor Luis Andres Rueda told the BBC that there are more than 50 informal mines in the area and that hundreds of people use ladders to climb down into shafts as deep as 200m.

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