(Updates with new rescue effort)
By Jorge Cabrera
SAN JUAN ARRIBA, Honduras, July 5 Rescuers said
there was little hope that eight miners trapped underground in
an illegal Honduran gold mine would be found alive, as a group
of local miners prepared a last-ditch attempt to save their
Rescue workers said they had smelled foul odours coming from
the mine during an operation on Friday to free three of the 11
workers trapped by a landslide at the mine in San Juan Arriba on
There have been no signs of life from the eight still
missing. Their location in the mine, a labyrinth of vertical and
horizontal tunnels, is unknown.
"More than 60 hours have passed now and its difficult to
think that they are alive," rescue spokesman Oscar Triminio
Ten miners who know the area well were on Saturday gearing
up to enter the mine to try to find the missing workers.
"We cannot leave knowing that there are eight colleagues
inside the mine," Esteban Estrada, who leads the local group of
miners told a news conference.
"We will go to where we have found some remnants of clothing
which we presume are those of our colleagues and where there was
a strong smell of something rotting."
The head of the national civil protection service Ulises
Alvarado said that he would wait for the result of the search
before deciding whether to use heavy machinery to enter the
The machinery would be a last resort and only used if there
was no hope of finding workers alive.
Rescue operations had been suspended since Friday night due
to the risk of new landslides inside the mine trapping rescue
workers. Teams from Guatemala and El Salvador are helping with
the Honduran rescue efforts.
The mine is in a mountainous area in southern Honduras where
a vast network of underground tunnels makes up more than 50
mines. Small-scale gold extraction has been revived in the area
in recent years due to higher gold prices.
"I pray to God that they get him out to me ... so that I can
bury him in a dignified way," Rosa Carcamo, whose 17-year-old
nephew Yovany Carcamo was one of the eight still trapped, told
(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa; Writing by
Christine Murray; Editing by Stephen Powell and Lisa Shumaker)