Nicaragua abandons search for missing miners trapped by landslide

by Reuters
Tuesday, 2 September 2014 18:42 GMT

MANAGUA, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Nicaragua has called off work to find at least seven miners trapped in a gold mine by a landslide after rescuers decided there was no hope of reaching them, the government said on Tuesday.

At least 29 miners were trapped on Thursday after heavy rains sparked a landslide at the mine in the Bonanza project, about 260 miles (420 km) northeast of Managua, which was closed around four years ago after being deemed unsafe.

By Saturday, 22 of the miners had been rescued.

However, by late Monday the rescue crews had decided there was no way of continuing the search and called off their efforts, said government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo, the wife of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

The mine was seriously affected by seasonal rains in the past, with another landslide two months ago killing two miners, according to Mineros S.A., the Colombian parent company of Nicaraguan miner Hemco, which operated the mine.

Although operations were ended, informal miners continued to work the mine against the orders of Hemco, the firm said. (Reporting by Leslie Nicolas Lacayo and Noe Torres)

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