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Death toll in Colombia mine explosion rises to nine

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 5th June, 2022 11:02:18 AM
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Death toll in Colombia mine explosion rises to nine

The death toll in an explosion in a coal mine in northeastern Colombia has risen to nine, while six workers remain unaccounted for, the National Mining Agency (ANM) said Saturday.

The toll was up from the three dead reported earlier in the accident Monday. The number of missing workers is down from eight earlier Saturday. Some 70 rescuers were continuing a desperate search for victims, while anguished families waited nearby for news.

Officials said a buildup of gasses apparently led to a fire, explosion and then the collapse of nearly 90 percent of the mine in the town of El Zulia, near the border with Venezuela. The gasses initially prevented rescuers from approaching the area.

The mine, unlike many in the region that work outside the law, operated with state permits. Last year, Colombia recorded 148 deaths in mining accidents. Mined raw materials are one of the country's main exports, alongside oil.