Nicaragua rescues 20 miners

Miners were trapped in Bonanza, in Nicaragua's 'mining triangle'

Miners were trapped in an old mine in Bonanza

Nicaraguan rescue workers led by miners acting as tunnel guides have successfully rescued the first 20 miners trapped in an old gold and silver mine in the northern mining zone of Bonanza. The miners, who had been trapped for more than 34 hours, were rescued Friday night, following a full day of steadily increasing rescue efforts. Two other miners managed to escape on their own, and an additional five miners are thought still to be trapped somewhere in the earth’s bowels, according to press reports.

The 20 rescued miners, ages 18-30, were saved by a joint team of rescue workers from Managua, firemen, soldiers, and other miners who led the dangerous missing down the rickety ladders and through the tunnels of the old Hemco mine.

“How heroic, those artisanal miners,” cooed First Lady Rosario Murillo. “How they moved through the mine, detecting the voices [of the trapped miners] and guiding [the rescue workers].”

The first lady also thanked God, the Virgin Mary, and the Sandinista Family Councils for their good work, without offering details about what role each actor played in the rescue effort. Murillo additionally thanked God for “giving” Nicaragua the government it has.

The search continues today for the other missing miners.

  • Martin Nelson

    Gold mines in Nicaragua? I’ve heard rumors that Nicaragua is one of the larger exporters of gold. Who benefits? Who has more information?

    • Ken Morris

      There have long been gold mines in Nicaragua, though I’m not sure how much gold remains or therefore how much is exported. I think it’s a pretty small industry, though could be corrected by someone who knows more than I do. Also, I think a Canadian mining company runs the mines, although again I’m not positive and even if I were wouldn’t know the terms of the arrangement. I would think though that if it were a bad deal for Nicaragua Ortega would have sent to company packing. BTW, for a brief time, I believe during the 1950s, Ortega’s father was in the gold business, and Ortega was himself born in mining country, where his father managed a mine.

  • Ken Morris

    I’m not sure that a mining disaster is the proper occasion for laughter (or that your article lacks bias) but I must say that I busted out laughing reading it. Murillo is always great for laughs, isn’t she? All you have to do is quote her. Despite this, I hope the other guys get rescued.