Ángel Vera Pacheco (29) and Pedro Mendoza Basurto (21) are the names of the two Ecuadorian miners who haven’t been rescued yet in Casa Negra, at the Province El Oro. At the moment, nearly 100 employees of Minesadco, the company working on the Mine, are in charge of the Rescue Labors that has taken more than 56 uninterrupted hours of work, according to a Press Release. The Government set up a Crisis Committee integrated by the Ministries of Non-Renewable Natural Resources and Health, and the National Secretary of Risk Management. This Committee is in charge of the logistics of the Rescue Labor.
At around 13:00 on Saturday, the bodies of Walter Vera and Paul Aguirre Cortés were found after they were buried in a reduced space where they died because of asphyxia, medical reports confirmed. The miners who haven’t been found, however, were in another space or gallery that was blocked from the access to where the two dead bodies were found, and are believed to be still alive.
Several miners from other mines nearby have also collaborated on the rescue labors for the fourth day in a row, in order to rescue the two men who are possibly alive in the Mine in Portovelo, 150mts deep. The 100 workers who attempt to rescue the miners, are currently divided in three groups. According to El Comercio newspaper, there are at least four specialists on explosives and extraction teams who are currently coordinating the tasks. Volunteers from the Civil Defense and from the Fire Departments of Machala, Zaruma and Piñas are also providing their help, along with paramedics with two ambulances.
From the surface, the mine has six underground levels; each level is 30 meters apart. Pacheco and Basurto are trapped on the Level 5 of the Mine, after it collapsed around 3:00 last Friday. The huge amounts of rock and water make it harder for the workers to do their job.
Controversy arose after it was discovered that one of the two miners found dead yesterday, Paul Aguirre, was from Peru and was not working legally on Ecuador. Peruvian consul on Machala, Efrain Saavedra, took the corpse on Saturday at 23:00. According to El Universo, Aguirre was from Ayabaca, Piura on Perú, and two close relatives work with him in Minesadco. This company expressed they open the personal file of each miner within a month of their work in the company, and apparently Aguirre would had had his first month on the Company tomorrow.