Honduran Red Cross provides vital support during mine accident rescue and recovery operation

Published: 7 July 2014 17:07 CET

By Enrique Jair Guevara, IFRC

Volunteers and staff of the Honduran Red Cross have been providing vital first aid services to rescue workers and family members of trapped miners following a landslide that cut off access to 11 miners. Three men have been rescued and are recovering in a nearby hospital.

For nearly a week now rescue workers have been attempting to reach the eight remaining Honduran miners that were trapped in a small gold mine. Rescuers fear that as the search goes on in the southern town of El Corpus, the chance of a good outcome becomes less likely.

Since the accident was reported, the Honduran Red Cross has been on scene providing psychosocial first aid services. “We are the only organization with the training in this type of support, so we have been put in charge of supporting the families of the miners that are still trapped,” said Aracely Ramos, Honduran Red Cross Communications Coordinator.

The Honduran Red Cross arrived in El Corpus and set up a mobile hospital in the lower area of the operations while technicians and rescue workers are in place with an ambulance in the upper level of the operation. “This enables us to be able to give support to the miners and rescue workers by providing oxygen and the necessary first aid as they enter and exit the mine,” Ramos said.

Three of the miners that had been rescued remain in a nearby hospital recovering from dehydration and exhaustion, while the operation continues. According to Ramos, Honduran Red Cross staff and volunteers will remain on scene providing first aid and psychosocial support until the authorities determine whether or not to suspend the operation.