Rescue underway at gold mine in Ecuador

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Rescue underway at gold mine in Ecuador

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It is an uncomfortable reminder of events in neighbouring Chile.

Emergency teams have headed underground at a gold mine in Ecuador to rescue a group of workers trapped by a rockfall.

The four men are thought to be in an area of the tunnel system which is far away from the collapse, although there has been no contact with them so far.

50 workers are digging through the rockfall while a second shaft is being mined through from the side.

It happened at the Casa Negra mine near the town of Portavelo.

A government safety official said the men are not well-equipped, with no food or clean water. The concern is that the mine shaft was blocked and has flooded.

In poignant scenes reminiscent of the San Jose rescue in Chile, the men’s families can only watch and wait at the surface:
The men are believed to be in a tunnel 150 metres underground.

The rescue teams are thought to be nearing the site where they were trapped.