A methane gas explosion in a
Colombian coal mine killed eight workers on Thursday when a
tunnel caved in, authorities said.
Five others who had been trapped in the Carminales mine in
northern Antioquia province were treated for injuries.
Unlike many mines in this Andean country, Carminales is a
legally sanctioned facility equipped with safety features, said
Mayor Carlos Londono of nearby town Fredonia.
But the miners did not take normal precautions before
entering the kilometer (.6 mile)-deep tunnel on Thursday, said
a spokeswoman for Colombia’s Ingeominas mining authority.
“They did not follow security protocols at the moment that
they set off an explosive charge. They did not verify gas
levels,” the spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity.
Hundreds are killed or injured every year while prospecting
for gold or mining coal and other commodities in Colombia. A
landslide in the western province of Choco last month killed
five people as they panned for gold. (Reuters)