Explosion in Colombian coal mine leaves 21 workers dead

Colombian authorities announced on Thursday that another ten dead bodies were found inside the Sutatausa mines after an explosion occurred last Tuesday night.

With this new report, the explosion leaves a balance of 21 victims, all of the people who were inside the six affected mines. On Wednesday, 11 miners were found dead in the mines that are located in the Department of Cundinamarca, about 47 miles north of Bogota.

The incident was caused by the accumulation of methane gas that exploded due to "a spark generated by a tool" of a worker that caused a chain reaction, according to the Governor of Cundinamarca, Nicolas Garcia.

Due to the poor conditions in which the mines were left after the explosion, it was very difficult for the rescue agencies to recover the bodies that remained inside.

President Gustavo Petro expressed regret over the death of the miners.

"Despite all the efforts of the rescue teams, unfortunately 21 people lost their lives in this tragic accident in Sutatausa. All my solidarity to their families," Petro wrote on Twitter. "Every work-related fatality is not only a business failure, but also a social and governmental one," he added.

On Wednesday, two people were rescued alive by firefighters and seven more got out on their own. There were 30 workers in the mine at the time of the accident.

A group of relatives of the workers had been awaiting information about their family members since the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“I have been with the families of the miners who were victims of the unfortunate tragedy that occurred yesterday in Sutatausa since very early in the morning, while supporting the search and rescue efforts. Unfortunately there are none of them alive, we are heartbroken,” said Governor Garcia.

Activities at the mines have been suspended, the National Mining Agency (ANM) said, while announcing an investigation to establish the exact causes of the explosion.

According to an ANM report, the country registered 146 deaths in 2022 due to similar mining accidents.

Source: Anadolu Agency