Search efforts for seven miners missing for five days in an abandoned gold mine located in the northern Caribbean municipality of Bonanza have been suspended, Nicaragua’s DGB fire-rescue service said Tuesday.
“After having undertaken multiple search and rescue efforts and operations, the judgment about the artisanal miners, which coincides with the recommendations of the specialized personnel and geologists who have read the equipment and installed sensors, suggests excessive imminent risk of a rock slide,” the DGB said in a statement.
The decision was made on Monday evening after a landslide occurred on El Comal hill, in the same area where a cave-in triggered by a landslide buried 27 small-scale gold miners, along with two other people who managed to extract themselves from the collapsed earth on their own.
The previous Friday, 20 of the miners had been rescued, all of them from one spot inside the old and unstable mine.
The rescue efforts were suspended with the agreement of the other miners and relatives of the missing men, the DGB’s Maj. Francisco Javier Valle said.
Media outlets reported that, given that 96 hours had passed since the landslide, emergency workers and miners helping in the rescue efforts had begun to smell a strong odor of decay in the vicinity and that caused their hopes of finding the still-missing men alive to vanish, although they had not come across any of the bodies.