7 missing, 2 hurt after mine dam bursts in northern Mexico

Rescuers searched Tuesday for seven people missing after a dam containing mineral tailings burst at a mine in the northern Mexican border state of Chihuahua.

Some 150 people joined the search over a 7-mile (12-kilometer) course through the mountains where the contaminated water rushed after the dam broke Monday at the Rio Tinto mine complex, the state government said in a statement.

In addition to the seven missing people, two were reported hospitalized in stable condition.

Gov. Javier Corral visited the site Tuesday and said the state's priorities were finding the missing and protecting the Tubares river at the bottom of the watershed. State officials said they were awaiting the arrival of federal environmental officials to evaluate the impact.

The gold and silver mine is located in Cieneguita in the municipality of Urique. Aerial photographs provided by the state government show a white residue coating a long winding course through the mountains.

The mine's owner, Cluster Minero de Chihuahua, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mexican news media reported that workers were swept away.