The side of a pit containing tonnes of mud and water gave way swamping a quarry in Jaén, covering a 30-tonne excavator on Friday around midday.
The nightmare, which took place in the municipality of Villanueva de la Reina, began at 12.30h and at the time of the writing of this article (20.55h Saturday) rescue workers had still not located the victim.
The family-run quarry in question is the Hermanos Moral Quarry, which is situated on the A-44 and the 35-year-old man MJMM is the youngest of the brothers who run it.
As a machine operator he had been removing rock and soil in an earth-moving machine when a retaining wall of a pit containing water and mud collapsed. The mud engulfed the JCB or back hoe, filling the area with slurry to a level of several meters above the machine. So deep was the mud that they still haven’t located the machine, let alone recovered the body.
A company specialized in emptying tanks (unlocks) is being used to drain the pit and a mobile, heavy crane is standing by to winch the excavator out. However the Andújar fire service were the first to arrive and began using their own pumps to empty the area. Even a heavy-duty pump has been brought down from Madrid for the task.
Specialists explained that the task is enormous because of the shere quantity of slurry or liquid mud that needs to be removed.
(News: Villanueva de la Reina, Jaén, Andalucia)