Colombia Mine Blast Kills 9, Traps 6

At least nine miners have died, and six remain trapped after an explosion at the La Mestiza coal mine in El Zulia in Colombia on May 30.

According to Mining News, ANM said that increased methane concentrations caused the explosion at the La Mestiza coal mine. 

ANM added that the flame and pressure of the gas mixed with coal dust caused a landslide and high concentrations of carbon monoxide, trapping the workers inside the mine.

According to Metro News, one of the people who died was identified as Fabio Garcia, who suffered second and third-degree burns on 80% of his body. 

Garcia died in a hospital in Cucuta the next day after he was rescued.

National Mining Agency search and rescue teams, the Red Cross, the police, and the army have been working at the La Mestiza coal mine since the accident occurred.

“The ANM deeply regrets these events, expresses its condolences to the families of the victims, and ratifies its commitment to continue with the search and rescue efforts for the missing workers,” the ANM said.

Mining News reported that the emergency teams said the rescue operation is slow and risky as the area presents an average inclination of 70°, despite the mine’s ventilation system having been restored and additional blowers and extractor fans have been added.

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