Four workers have died from poisonous air in a Canadian-owned silver mine in the northern Mexico state of Coahuila near the border with Texas, officials said. First Majestic Silver Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, which owns La Encantada mine about 700 kilometres northeast of Torreon in the Muzquiz municipality, said one miner was clearing an area in the mine when he lost consciousness due to “gas intoxication.” The three other miners who died had gone to his aid and were carrying safety belt breathing apparatuses but did not use them, the company’s statement said.
It said an emergency response crew retrieved all four miners and they were taken to a local hospital, where they were pronounced dead yesterday.
The company expected to resume operations tomorrow, but said the part of the mine where the accident occurred Sunday would remain closed until an investigation was complete.
Coahuila state Civil Protection deputy secretary Francisco Martinez said on Milenio television that the initial report from federal workplace safety inspectors was that the workers died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The cause of that contamination remained under investigation.