June 17, 2017 / 10:03 PM / 2 years ago

Chile rescuers find water in area where two missing miners were trapped

The mine Delia II is pictured next to a lagoon called Laguna Verde where authorities are trying to locate two miners who went missing a week ago inside the mine after a landslide sparked the flooding of the mine in Chile Chico, south of Chile June 17, 2017. REUTERS/Alvaro Vidal

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A drilling probe conducted by rescuers seeking to find two workers missing in a southern Chile mine for more than a week found water in the area where they are thought to have been at the time of a June 9 flood, authorities said on Saturday.

Snowfall in recent days and the frigid waters of a surrounding lagoon have complicated efforts to find the two workers in the small gold and silver mine owned by Mandalay Resources Corp.

General Fernando San Cristobal, head of the rescue team, said the probe reached level 55 - where the miners are believed to have been working and where an emergency shelter is located - and found water. Rescuers are now preparing to deploy a probe with a camera attached.

The workers, identified as Jorge Sanchez and Enrique Ojeda, were trapped after section two of the Delia mine, part of Mandalay’s Cerro Bayo complex in Chile’s southern Aysen region was flooded.

The incident has evoked memories of a 2010 mining accident in Copiago, northern Chile, where 33 miners were trapped underground for nearly ten weeks before being rescued.

Reporting by Fabián Andrés Cambero,; additional reporting by Alvaro Vidal, writing by Luc Cohen, editing by G Crosse

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