Six trapped coal miners found dead in Colombia

BOGOTA – Six men trapped by an explosion at a coal mine in the Colombian province of Norte de Santander were found dead Wednesday, an official said. Alfonso Tarazona, head of the Norte de Santander Emergency Management Office, told reporters in Cucuta, the provincial capital, that the bodies were recovered some 18 hours after Tuesday’s blast at the La Orquidea mine. He said the recovery effort was difficult because of the depth of the shaft and the high concentration of methane gas inside the mine, which is located in the municipality of El Zulia, near Cucuta and the Venezuelan border. One of the dead was a mining engineer, Tarazona said. Nine men working in the shaft at the time of the explosion were rescued alive Tuesday and are being treated at area hospitals. Local authorities and personnel from the Colombian Geology and Mining Institute opened an investigation into the cause of the blast.


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