Mexico: Mexico's President Andres Manuel López Obrador on Sunday visited a disaster-hit coal mining area to watch a crucial operation to try to rescue 10 stranded workers.
Four days after a mine flooded in the northern state of Coahuila, families of missing people were growing more concerned that there was not enough time to rescue them.
Six military scuba divers and around 400 soldiers and other personnel have joined the rescue effort, but so far, officials said, entering the mine has been too risky.
"I am going to check the progress of the rescue. Before arriving at the location in Agujita, which is located in the municipality of Sabinas, López Obrador informed reporters that he was "going on the situation." It was "a decisive was. day" for the operation, he had said earlier on Saturday.
To make it safe to enter the 60 m (200 ft) deep shaft, mine water must first be drained out. Soon after the devastation, five workers managed to escape from the substandard mine, but no one has survived since.
The state government of Coahuila claimed that the miners were digging when they fled to a nearby waterlogged area. According to officials, the water level inside the mine had dropped by about 9.5 meters from its initial 34 meters till late Saturday night.
The niece of one of the missing workers, Liliana Torres, said she had seen the rescuers' tenacity because they "don't stop all day." However, she said the families were getting "desperate".
After Saturday's efforts failed, some families from the Agujita community joined a mass gathering which was organized near their makeshift camp.
Earlier, the sight of water flowing through the drains from the mine raised the hopes of relatives who were eagerly waiting for the news.
Despite the fact that there is a lot of water, we believe they are in the higher reaches of the mine. Elva Hernandez, the mother-in-law of one of the trapped workers, said, "But we have faith in God.
Five employees who were reportedly able to escape from the mine were interviewed by the Coahuila State Prosecutor's Office. Coahuila's attorney general, Gerardo Marquez, told the press that "apparently he was thrown out of a stream of water."
He continued, refusing to identify him, saying that his office had questioned the mine concession holder and the landlord for information.
According to Coahuila Labor Secretary Nazira Zogbi, experts have discovered a leak from nearby mines and are working to pinpoint its exact location to prevent water from entering the area where the trapped workers are located.
Without naming the company, he said that a French company had provided equipment to help with this task.
Over the years, there have been several fatal mining accidents in Coahuila, Mexico's main coal-producing region. Last year, seven miners trapped in the area had died.
The worst happened in 2006 when 65 people were killed as a result of an explosion at the Pasta de Conchos mine. After that tragedy, only two bodies were found.