Five mineworkers have died following an explosion in a coal mine in Samaca municipality of central Columbia. According to local reports on July 2, the explosion occurred the previous day due to an accumulation of methane gas at the Los Laureles mine owned by Carbones Andinos. Rescue teams are working to recover the bodies of the workers.
Boyaca province head of disaster management Alirio Rozo said rescue operations were being undertaken with care due to persistently high levels of methane in the mine. He said: “All of the rescue protocols are being followed so the rescue teams are not endangered as they try to remove the bodies of the miners.”
According to an initial hypothesis, the mine tunnel collapsed due to the blast, trapping the mineworkers inside.
Colombian company Carbones Andinos has been mining coal since the 1960s. The company employs about 500 people in its Boyacá deep mines. Boyacá has an annual capacity of 240,000 MT/year, which is planned to be increased to 450,000 MT/year by the end of this year. It is estimated to have a reserve of 20 million tonnes.
Prensa Latina reported that during the last four years mine accidents had killed over 500 Colombians.