I don’t know if this has reached British shores yet. I heard about it yesterday while eating pupusas in Valle de Angeles (showing off a little, I know). There has been a mine collapse. Maybe not on the scale of the Chilean disaster a couple of years ago, but obviously the country is watching (but they’re not that shocked: a disaster like this was bound to happen looking at the mine’s conditions). I’ll be honest.
I had no idea there were still gold mines here, let alone (I was under the impression that the Spanish had nabbed it all), but a mayor in a southern Honduran town claims there’s more than 50 mines in the area, but far underground.
It happened near the town San Juan Arriba, about 70 miles south of Tegus, when the limestone caved in and trapped 11 illegal miners underground. Apparently the mine is illegal as they don’t have the correct mining tools, but as much of southern Honduras is poverty stricken, many are forced to work in such circumstances, especially with thoughts of finding gold. Funnily enough, many legal industries in the other make workers work in even worse conditions. Prawn peeling factories are notorious for shocking working conditions, where they most work long hours standing without the appropriate clothing or protection. That’s beside the point. According to the Deputy Environmental Minister, Carlos Pineda, said, “An inspection proved that these are not tunnels with wood supports and lighting, it’s just a hole in the ground.” No surprise really then. It seems that the miners are still trapped, despite President Juan Orlando’s announcement on twitter that the miners have now been found and are safe (not only is it misinformation, but there were also glaring spelling mistakes in the message, although I too can be guilty of that). There are Red Cross volunteers helping and fire services trying to find survivors. Unfortunately it is the rainy season, which has delayed the rescue and caused landslides.
Let’s hope that the guys are found safely. I imagine the owner is really regretting this search for gold. I will fill you in with more when I know so.