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Coal mine explosion kills 11, injures four in Colombia

28 February 2022

A coal mine blast killed 11 workers and injured four others in Colombia’s Boyacá province on February 26. The country’s mining agency, Agencia Nacional de Mineria (ANM), said that the incident occurred at La Chapa mine in the town of Tasco in central Colombia.

Representative image: Shutterstock
Representative image: Shutterstock

ANM said the explosion occurred in the evening following a build-up of methane gas within the mine. Colombia has a poor safety record when it comes to mining operations. Several fatal incidents have occurred in recent years in both legally and illegally operated coal mines. ANM said the Tasco mine had the appropriate approvals in order for operations to be carried out legally.

Firefighters and rescuer crews arrived at the scene and discovered the remains of 10 miners following an initial search of the site. Another body was discovered a few hours later with another four miners still missing. All four are expected to have been killed in the explosion.

According to Reuters news agency, a total of 128 mining accidents occurred in Colombia during 2021, killing 148 people. In August 2021, another coal mine explosion in the Boyacá region killed 12 workers. ANM said that 13 people were initially trapped by the blast at La Carbonera coal mine, however 12 lost their lives while one was seriously injured.

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