Colombia coal mine explosion death toll doubles to 21
The death toll from a coal mine explosion in Colombia nearly doubled to 21 after the bodies of ten miners were found on Wednesday, Azernews reports, citing Yahoo.
Rescue teams had been scrambling to pull out the miners, who were trapped underground after the blast as relatives waited for news nearby.
The local governor says nine people made it out alive.
Authorities say accumulated gas in six coal mines linked to one another exploded on Tuesday in a rural area north of the capital, Bogota.
Colombia’s national mining agency has suspended all activities at the mines as authorities investigate what led to the incident.
Irene Velez is the country’s mines minister.
Irene Velez/Minister of Mines and Energy
"The rescuers had to travel almost two miles to reach where the last miners were found at night. The bodies had to be dragged nearly a mile. It was really a collaborative work of all the forces and, so, they're physically fatigue."
Fatal accidents like this are common in Colombia’s coal and gold mines, especially at illegal or informal facilities.
Last year alone, Colombia’s mining agency reported 117 accidents at mines killing 146 people.
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