Colombian mine blast loss of life toll rises to 21, president says | Mining Information

Colombian mine blast loss of life toll rises to 21, president says | Mining Information
Colombian mine blast loss of life toll rises to 21, president says | Mining Information

Gustavo Petro says regardless of rescue efforts, 10 miners who had been trapped underground after an explosion have died.

The loss of life toll from an explosion at a sequence of linked coal mines in central Colombia has risen to 21, President Gustavo Petro says, after large-scale rescue efforts to free 10 miners who had been trapped underground had failed.

“Regardless of all of the efforts of the rescue groups, sadly 21 individuals misplaced their lives on this tragic accident in Sutatausa,” a city 74km (46 miles) north of the capital, Bogota, Petro stated in a tweet on Thursday morning.

“All my solidarity to their households,” the president wrote.

A day earlier, Cundinamarca Governor Nicolas Garcia instructed Blu Radio that not less than 11 miners had died within the blast, which occurred late on Tuesday attributable to an accumulation of gases that exploded after a employee’s instrument induced a spark. It unfold by way of the linked, authorized mines.

9 miners had been capable of escape, however 10 had been trapped 700 to 900 metres (2,300 to three,000 toes) underground, Garcia instructed reporters on Wednesday.

Greater than 100 rescue staff had been deployed to free them.

“My because of … each one of many rescuers who throughout these two days gave themselves physique and soul to the rescue work in Sutatausa,” Garcia wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning.

“Our hearts are damaged,” he stated.

People wait as rescue operations continue after a coal mine blast in Colombia
Individuals wait throughout the search and rescue work following an explosion of a mine in Sutatausa, Colombia, March 15, 2023 [Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters]

Colombia is house to quite a few open and underground gold and coal mines. Explosions and different incidents continuously happen, largely at operations which can be unlawful or don’t undertake ample security measures.

The South American nation has reported 1,260 mining incidents from 2011 to Might 2022 and an annual common of 103 deaths, based on official figures. In 2021, 148 deaths had been recorded.

Probably the most severe latest incident occurred in June 2010 when 73 individuals had been killed in a mine explosion within the northwest.

In August, 9 miners had been rescued from a collapsed unlawful coal mine in Cundinamarca.

On Thursday, Colombia’s president stated, “Every work fatality just isn’t solely a enterprise failure but in addition a social and governmental one.”


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