An explosion at the Chapa underground coal mine in Boyaca province, Colombia, has killed 11 people with four others missing, reported Reuters citing the state-run national mining agency (ANM).
On 26 February, the accident was triggered by an accumulation of methane gas at the mine, which is operated by Ingecolmaq SAS.
A team of 40 rescuers were involved in the search mission for the missing miners at the mine in the Tasco municipality, reported AFP via Macau Business.
Furthermore, a ventilation duct has been installed at the mine to improve breathability for the miners underground.
Although no official confirmation has been made, concerns are raised by rescue crews and firefighters that the missing people were also killed in the accident.
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In August 2021, an explosion at the La Carbonera de Tópaga underground coal mine, also in Boyaca, has killed 12 miners.
An accumulation of methane gas and possible coal dust were the factors leading to this incident.
Colombia’s mining industry includes large-scale open-pit and underground projects operated by multinational companies, as well as hundreds of small and informal deposits.
According to the ANM, 19 mining accidents have been reported in the South American country so far this year, resulting in a death toll of 36.
In total, 128 mining accidents were reported in the country last year, leading to the death of 148 people.