Colombia coal mines blast: Death toll rises to 13, search operation continues

The Colombian emergency crews have ended their rescue efforts at two coal mines, where an explosion left at least 13 miners dead and one injured

IANS June 26, 2017 09:29:48 IST
Colombia coal mines blast: Death toll rises to 13, search operation continues

Bogota: The Colombian emergency crews have ended their rescue efforts at two coal mines, where an explosion left at least 13 miners dead and one injured, officials said.

"Over more than a day, without any rest, our emergency rescue personnel recovered the bodies of 13 deceased people, and one injured person, without any (further) incident," said the president of the National Mining Agency (ANM), Silvana Habib Daza, as quoted in a communique issued by the mining ministry on Sunday, Efe news reported.

Colombia coal mines blast Death toll rises to 13 search operation continues

Representational image. AFP.

Habib further confirmed that both coal mines were illegally mining as they did not have environmental authorisation to do so.

The explosion occurred around midnight on last Friday in the El Cerezo and La Guasca mines located in the town of Pueblo Viejo, in central Cundinamarca province.

Mining deputy minister Carlos Andres Cante issued a call for prevention of such accidents and safety guarantees for miners, along with the adherence to protocols and the avoidance of illegal operations.

"We want tragedies such as this one not to occur again, and for those who are exploiting minerals to do so legally, complying with all safety standards," Cante said.

The mining ministry said that with the end of rescue operations, an investigation will be launched by the ANM to determine the cause of the accident, who - if anyone - bears responsibility and what the appropriate punishment should be.

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, upon his arrival on Saturday night in Bogota after an official four-day trip to France, expressed his regret over the accident.

"I would like to express our condolences, our thought, our hearts are with your families," said the president at the Catam Air Base upon his arrival.

Meanwhile, emergency authorities on Sunday recovered the lifeless body of one of the two miners who was trapped on Saturday after a cave-in at a mine in the town of Lenguazaque, also in Cundinamarca province.

Emergency personnel are continuing to work inside the mine to try and find the other missing miner.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Colombian Prez Santos to donate Nobel prize money to conflict victims
World

Colombian Prez Santos to donate Nobel prize money to conflict victims

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said he will donate the money from the Nobel Peace prize to help the victims of the 52-year conflict in his country, the media reported.

Colombia's President Santos meets rival in a bid to save peace deal
World

Colombia's President Santos meets rival in a bid to save peace deal

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said peace with the FARC rebels is "close," but his top opponent demanded an overhaul of a "weak" deal rejected by voters in a referendum.

Colombia, Farc rebels sign second peace deal amid opposition; Ban Ki-moon welcomes pact
World

Colombia, Farc rebels sign second peace deal amid opposition; Ban Ki-moon welcomes pact

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed a revised peace agreement with the country's largest rebel movement on Thursday, making a second attempt within months to end a half century of hostilities.