Not too far from San Antonio, Mexico's only coal-producing region can be found. While most of the area is modernized, about 150 "pocitos," primitive vertical-entry mines, are also operating. Around 1500 miners work these mines. The pocitos are dangerous: some are gaseous, they explode. Some are near abandoned mines, and when miners strike adjacent shafts, they flood. In the months before this story ran, 27 deaths occurred in pocito disasters. The San Antonio Express-News investigated the dangers surrounding these mine fields and paralleled the realities of the pocitos with what national law expects. As a result of the story, Mexico started a state office of mine safety specifically to deal with the pocitos.
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