Mexico Recovers Remains of Miners Lost for 18 Years

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In a significant development reported from Mexico City, officials revealed Wednesday the unearthing of remains from some of the 63 workers who were lost nearly two decades ago in a catastrophic coal mine accident in the northern part of Mexico.

The tragic incident took place at the Pasta de Conchos mine in Coahuila, a state that shares its border with Texas, on February 19, 2006. At the time, 73 miners were inside; eight managed to escape with severe injuries, while only two bodies were initially recovered.

The Mexican Interior Ministry disclosed that, after persistent efforts, they have finally discovered “the first human remains” within the confines of the mine, though the exact date of this discovery was not shared.

This event ranks among the most devastating mining disasters in Mexico’s history.

The quest to retrieve the miners’ remains gained momentum in 2020 when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador committed to the undertaking—a stark contrast to past administrations, which had deemed the effort too perilous and expensive, despite ongoing appeals from the families of the deceased.

Under López Obrador’s directive, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), which is the country’s public utility service, spearheaded the recovery operations.

The interior ministry noted that, on the fateful day of the collapse, 13 miners were stationed in the particular chamber where remains were recently located.

The cause of the mine’s collapse remains under investigation, with no confirmation yet if an explosion was to blame.

The task of analyzing the recovered remains for identification purposes and to ascertain the accident’s cause will be jointly undertaken by the Coahuila state prosecutor’s office, the National Search Commission, and the National Institute of Genomics Medicine.

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