Relatives hug and cry after a coal mine collapsed in Mexico's northern state of Coahuila, where around nine people were reported to be trapped

Mexico City (AFP) - Rescuers battled Wednesday to free around nine workers believed to be trapped in a coal mine in northern Mexico, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said.

Military personnel and rescue dogs were deployed to the scene of the accident in the state of Coahuila, Lopez Obrador said.

“A coal mine collapsed in the municipality of Sabinas, Coahuila, which caused a tunnel to flood and apparently trapped nine miners,” he tweeted.

“We hope to find them safe,” he added.

Anxious relatives gathered at the site waiting for news, some crying and comforting each other.

One woman said through tears that two of her children worked in the mine, although one of them had managed to escape after the accident.

Rescue personnel work at a coal mine in northern Mexico where around nine people were believed to be trapped

Coahuila’s state government said that the miners had been carrying out excavation work when they hit an adjoining area full of water, causing the shaft to collapse and flood.

“The mine began operating in January of this year and until now there have been no reports of any type of anomaly,” it said in a statement.

Coahuila, the country’s main coal-producing region, has seen a series of fatal mining accidents over the years.

The worst was an explosion that claimed 65 lives at the Pasta de Conchos mine in 2006.

Last year seven miners died after they were trapped in another accident in Coahuila.