2 miners found dead after Ecuador tunnel collapse

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 17, 2010 00:16

 
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Search teams found the bodies of two miners Saturday and were still looking for two other men missing since a tunnel collapsed 490 feet (150 meters) underground the previous day.

Deputy Mining Minister Jorge Espinosa identified the two known dead as Walter Vera and Paul Aguirre. He said searchers still held hopes they could rescue the two missing miners, Pedro Mendoza and Angel Vera.

"We hope to find the two other miners alive because they were in a spot that probably was not affected" by the cave-in, Espinosa told The Associated Press.

Juan Cando, president of the Sadco Mine, said searchers were trying to clear away fallen rocks to get to the area where the missing miners were thought to be working, according to a government statement.

The accident happened early Friday in the fifth level of a gold mine near the town of Portovelo, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Quito.

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