World

Cave-ins force Nicaragua to call off search for 4 missing miners

A rescued miner looks down as he leaves the El Comal gold and silver mine after being rescued in Bonanza, Nicaragua, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014.  The first 11 of 24 freelance gold miners trapped by a collapse in a mine have been rescued and crews were working early Saturday to free more, officials said. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

A rescued miner looks down as he leaves the El Comal gold and silver mine after being rescued in Bonanza, Nicaragua, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. The first 11 of 24 freelance gold miners trapped by a collapse in a mine have been rescued and crews were working early Saturday to free more, officials said. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)  (The Associated Press)

Nicaragua's government says it has called off a search for at least four missing miners because cave-ins made the effort too dangerous to continue, and hopes have faded that anyone could be found alive after five days.

Nicaragua's first lady and government spokeswoman says continuing the effort would put more lives at risk.

Rosario Murillo told the Chanel 4 television station early Tuesday that "experts had to admit that any rescue was impossible because of the danger."

At least 26 miners were trapped by a collapse Thursday at the gold and silver mine near Bonanza, about 260 miles (420 kilometers) northeast of Managua. Twenty-two were rescued alive.

Between four and eight men were believed still missing. The exact number was unclear because the miners were freelancers, not formal employees.