Coal mine explosion kills nine in Colombia
03 August 2020
An explosion at a coal mine in the municipality of El Zulia in northeast Colombia killed nine miners on July 31. The blast happened at the El Cedro underground coal mine and is thought to have been caused by a build up of gases within the mine.
Image: ANM Colombia
Rescue operations began as soon as first responders arrived at the scene. Six miners were confirmed dead at the scene, while the Colombia Mining Authority said that a further three workers were missing.
Following 31 hours of uninterrupted rescue efforts, the bodies of the three missing miners were discovered. The Colombian Mining Authority said that rescue efforts had been hampered by the temperature and humidity inside the mine.
An investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of the explosion. Local media reported quoted a local official as saying that the blast was most likely caused by a build up within the mine.
In April earlier this year, an explosion killed 11 miners and injured four others in the town of Cucunuba, north of Bogota. Following the explosion, Colombia’s National Mining Agency announced a suspension of underground mining activity in and around Cucunuba.