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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Rescuers locate trapped gold miners - but four remain missing

Published 29/08/2014 | 23:18

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Rescuers wait to go inside a gold mine where miners are trapped after heavy rains caused a landslide in Bonanza town, in northern Nicaragua  August 29, 2014.   Rescue workers have spoken to 20 miners still trapped in a gold mine after a landslide in northern Nicaragua, though seven are still unaccounted for, the government said on Friday.    REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas (NICARAGUA - Tags: DISASTER SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT)
Rescuers wait to go inside a gold mine where miners are trapped after heavy rains caused a landslide in Bonanza town, in northern Nicaragua August 29, 2014. Rescue workers have spoken to 20 miners still trapped in a gold mine after a landslide in northern Nicaragua, though seven are still unaccounted for, the government said on Friday. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Rescuers wait to go inside a gold mine where miners are trapped after heavy rains caused a landslide in Bonanza town, in northern Nicaragua  August 29, 2014.   Rescue workers have spoken to 20 miners still trapped in a gold mine after a landslide in northern Nicaragua, though seven are still unaccounted for, the government said on Friday.    REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas (NICARAGUA - Tags: DISASTER SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT)
Rescuers wait to go inside a gold mine where miners are trapped after heavy rains caused a landslide in Bonanza town, in northern Nicaragua August 29, 2014. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas
Miners carry water at the entrance of the gold mine where miners are trapped by a landslide caused by heavy rains in Bonanza town, in northern Nicaragua  August 29, 2014.   Rescue workers have spoken to 20 miners still trapped in a gold mine after a landslide in northern Nicaragua, though seven are still unaccounted for, the government said on Friday.    REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas (NICARAGUA - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)
Miners carry water at the entrance of the gold mine where miners are trapped by a landslide caused by heavy rains in Bonanza town, in northern Nicaragua August 29, 2014. REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas

Rescuers have located 20 of at least 24 gold miners trapped by a landslide in northern Nicaragua, but were not immediately able to bring them to safety.

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Teams of dogs helped locate the 20 miners, and rescue workers were labouring to get them out, said Milagros Solorzano of the ruling Sandinista Party in the community of Bonanza.

Soloranzo told local Channel 8 that the 20 miners were located in a cave inside the mine and have been able to communicate with rescue workers. They said they didn't know the whereabouts of the other four.

The slide occurred yesterday at the El Comal gold and silver mine operated by Hemco in the town of Bonanza, about 260 miles north east of Managua.

A government website, El 19 Digital, reported that one of the 26 originally trapped miners escaped last night and another was rescued this morning,

The miners are believed to be about 165 feet below the surface.

Mining company spokesman Gregorio Downs told the government's news website that 26 miners were trapped, and the company initially had contact with them. But he said apparently there were more slides inside after the initial one.

According to the website of Nicaragua-based Hemco, the company has mined in the north Atlantic municipality since 1995 and employs 532 workers, who process 700 tons of material a day.

Mr Downs said the trapped miners are not employees of the company, but are allowed to work areas in Hemco's concession if they sell the gold they find to the firm.

He said the company had warned miners about the danger of working in the El Comal area, especially after two miners died in a rain-caused landslide there last month.

Press Association

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