At least 11 people die in mine explosion in Colombia

Colombia Mine

At least 11 people have died and 10 more are trapped after an explosion in a coal mine tunnel in central Colombia, the governor of the department of Cundinamarca said on Wednesday (03.15.2023).

The incident in the municipality of Sutatausa was due to the accumulation of gases that exploded by “a spark generated by a pick” from a worker, Governor Nicolás García told Blu Radio.

The explosion was generated on Tuesday night in five legal mines that are connected. The trapped miners are 900 meters deep, making it difficult for the more than 100 rescuers who are working with picks to search, according to García.

 “Every minute that passes is less oxygen time,” the officials warned.

Images shared in local media show firefighters and other disaster specialists operating at the mine entrances. A group of people has been waiting around the place since dawn in the hope of obtaining information about their relatives.

Mining tragedies are frequent in Colombia, especially in illegal tunnels in Cundinamarca and other departments in the center of the country. The accumulation of gases is the most common reason for accidents.