None of 65 trapped Mexican miners could have survived, mining company says
SAN JUAN DE SABINAS, Mexico – Toxic gas levels inside a northern Mexican coal mine are too high for any of the 65 miners trapped inside to have survived an explosion nearly a week ago, the mining company said Saturday.The government and scientists previously said there was little hope any of those missing would be found alive.But a new analysis of underground air showed it was too poisonous to breathe, said Javier Garcia, a spokesman for mine owner Grupo Mexico SA de CV.Teams of experts drilled holes into the mine Saturday to release toxic gases, and a team of foreign experts – including 10 officials from the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration – helped to analyze the results.Conditions inside the Pasta de Conchos mine aren’t expected to be safe enough to recover the bodies at least until Sunday, Garcia said.A pre-dawn explosion Feb. 19 caused by gas built up inside the mine left the 65 miners trapped underground. Rescuers were careful not to trigger further explosions as they dug for about six days in hopes of finding survivors or the remains of those killed.They were ordered to stop their efforts Friday, however, amid concerns their lives could be in danger from the air inside the mine, near San Juan Sabinas, 85 miles southwest of the U.S. border at Eagle Pass, Texas.Late Saturday, Grupo Mexico officials began calling in families from a makeshift tent city that sprang up as relatives awaited any word of the missing minors. Groups of people then left the area around the entrance to the mine crying.A short time later, Garcia made the official announcement.