Two Killed in Another Colombian Coal Mine Accident

BOGOTA – Two people died of suffocation from an accumulation of gases in the tunnel of a coal mine in the central Colombian province of Boyaca, authorities said.

The victims, from 39 to 42 years of age, died inside the El Totumo mine, in a rural area of the municipality of Corrales, Mauricio Flechas, coordinator of the state-run Geology and Mines Institute, or Ingeominas, told Caracol Radio.

The bodies of the two victims were recovered at some 120 meters (393 feet) below the surface in one of the mine’s tunnels.

The ombudsman in Corrales, Miguel Moreno, said that according to the owners of the mine, “everything is in order as requested by the authorities of the sector.”

The death of the two miners occurred just after the country was hit by similar tragedy – another 18 people dead and emergency services attempting, with little hope, to rescue an additional 53 who are still trapped in the San Fernando mine in Amaga, a town in the northwestern province of Antioquia.

The explosion from an accumulation of gases occurred Wednesday, and this Saturday Colombian President Alvaro Uribe traveled to the disaster area to meet with families of the victims.

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