Mexico arrests owner of mine where 10 workers died in flooded shaft last year

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The owner of a northern Mexico coal mine where 10 miners died last year has been arrested, the Attorney General’s Office said Thursday.

Prosecutors identified the man only as Luis “G” in a statement. But a federal official familiar with the case confirmed it was Luis García, majority owner of El Pinabete mine in the border state of Coahuila. The official, who wasn't authorized to talk about the case publicly, agreed to reveal the information only if not quoted by name.

García was arrested May 18 in the neighboring state of Nuevo Leon, the Attorney General’s Office said. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

The arrest came nine months after the mine filled with water when workers broke through a rock wall into the flooded tunnel of an old adjacent mine.

Authorities worked for weeks to pump water out of the mine, hoping they could send in rescuers, but were never able to keep water out and stabilize the mine shaft sufficiently. The miners’ bodies were not recovered.

It was the second known arrest in the case, following the detention last year of Cristian Solís, who local media identified as the mine’s director. He was charged with illegal operation.