Mexico City — An underground coal mine in southern Mexico has shut down due to “sick” fire crews, officials said Sunday, as the countrys largest coal miner blamed “suckers” for the blaze.
The blaze that started on Sunday afternoon in the small town of Cibona, in the central region of Guerrero state, forced the closure of the mine and sent the surrounding area into lockdown, the state health department said.
It was the first coal fire to break out in Guerrero since 2013, when it killed about 200 miners in a blaze at the mine, according to local media.
The fire, which had already burned about 150 acres, was contained after firefighters battled for three hours, said the health department.
It took more than two hours to extinguish the fire in the nearby village of Quirados de la Palabra, where many residents were displaced.
The mine was built in the late 1970s and early 1980s and had about 4,400 workers.
It produces about 7,500 tons of coal a day, and has more than 5,000 workers, according, according a mine official.
Coal miners are known to be among the hardest-hit workers in Mexico’s mine crisis, which has seen hundreds of thousands of miners leave the country in recent months.
The fire at Cibón de la Plata in Guerrero state was caused by an explosion in a ventilation shaft at the nearby mine.