EL CORPUS , Honduras, July 3 (UPI) -- Eleven workers remain trapped in a small gold mine near El Corpus, Honduras.
They were isolated in the mine when a landslide blocked their exit tunnel Wednesday. Rescue workers said they made contact with three of the victims, and are unaware of the condition of the rest, adding progress in releasing the miners is being made "slowly and with difficulty" because the landslide risk in the earthquake-prone area. The mine is about 70 miles south of the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.
Firefighter Oscar Trimino said heavy machinery could not be used in the rescue because of unstable terrain, noting the landslide occurred at a depth of about 260 feet in the vertical tunnel.
Oxygen is being pumped into the mine through a hose.
Small, unregulated gold mines are common in Honduras, as are accidents due to a lack of safety enforcement.