The first recorded mining accident of 2013 claims the lives of three people in the northeastern Colombia, local media reported on Tuesday.
A mine in the town of Paipa in the Boyaca department collapsed “Apparently [because] there was an explosion due to [an] accumulation of gas,” Carlos Ivan Marquez, the National Director of Risk Management, reportedly told W Radio after examining the mine.
According to local media, the department’s Director of Civil Defense said that the coal mine trapped three people inside and due to “reckless” overcrowding, authorities were forced to ventilate the entire shaft in order to find the victims’ bodies. The director also said that the pit had all the necessary permits and was fully operable.
However, multiple news outlets pointed out that the Boyaca department is home to many mines where locals have allegedly been known to ignore the government’s required safety measures.