Crews Scramble to Rescue Trapped Honduras Miners

Image: Rescuers search for trapped miners
People look at one of the entrances of a handmade and now collapsed gold mine where members of a rescue team try to rescue 11 miners who became trapped on July 2, when the mine collapsed, located near San Juan Arriba, southern Honduras, on July 3. Gustavo Amador / EPA

Rescuers labored with pickaxes and shovels to dig out 11 miners trapped by a landslide at an illegal gold mine in southern Honduras, and are close to reaching three of the workers, officials said on Thursday.

The workers were trapped when the entrance of the mine in San Juan Arriba collapsed on Wednesday. Officials said the mine, 110 km (70 miles) south of the capital Tegucigalpa, had been ordered to close a few months ago because it was unsafe.

Rescue workers said they had made contact with three of the workers and were close to freeing them, though eight are still missing and it was unclear whether they were alive.

— Reuters
Image: Men make their way inside the collapsed San Juan mine, i
Men make their way inside the collapsed San Juan mine, in the Honduran southern department of Choluteca, on July 3, 2014 a day after the gold mine collapsed trapping at least 11 workers. Rescuers in Honduras said there were signs of life Thursday from within the mine as they intensified efforts to save them. Using sound detection equipment lowered into the unlicensed mine. "We've received signals, sounds in the part of the mine where the workers are trapped," Moises Alvarado, head of the national emergency authority, told local radio. Rescuers cannot use machinery to try to get to the miners because the ground is unstable. ORLANDO SIERRA / AFP - Getty Images