Families desperately await news of Burkinabè minors trapped for 26 days

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The families of eight miners missing in Burkina Faso were desperately awaiting news from rescue teams who continued Thursday to locate the men trapped underground for 26 days.

There has been no communication with the miners since they were trapped more than 500 meters (1,640 feet) underground during a flood at Canada-based Trevali Mining Corp’s Perkoa zinc mine on 16 april. It’s possible the men reached a rescue chamber stocked with food and water, Trevali said. After weeks of pumping water from the mine, rescue teams approached the chamber on Thursday, a company spokesman said.

Distraught family members meet daily at the site in Sanguie province, central Burkina Faso, for updates and moral support. “We have hope. We know they will come back. We are really counting on God,” said Sylvie Bama, the wife of miner Charles Bama, after a group prayer session near the mine.

“I’m looking at pictures of my husband. I miss him a lot. Today marks 26 days since he left home,” she said. Bama sells second-hand clothes but relies on her husband’s income to support their four children. Her husband’s brother, Antoine Bama, left his home in the capital Ouagadougou to stay with the family and provide support after the accident.

He tries to stay positive for the sake of his brother’s children, who range in age from about 6 to 20. “We have to try to give them hope,” said Antoine Bama.

Burkina Faso Labor Minister Bassolma Bazie said water samples had to be studied for safety reasons before rescuers could dive underwater to try to reach the chamber. “We are organizing rescue teams to dive into the area and do some verification. But to dive into the mine waters that have been circulating in the mine, we need to analyze a few samples,” Bazie said.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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