19-year-old Miner Killed In Chile’s Latest Mining Accident
One miner died and two were injured following an explosion inside the Palo Blanco copper mine in Chile’s Antofagasta Region, some 43 miles north of Tal Tal.
Pablo Toloza, Governor of Antofagasta, told Radio Cooperativa that the deceased worker was identified as 19-year-old Jordan Araya. He also confirmed that there are no trapped miners.
According to initial reports, the accident occurred at 3:40 pm on Monday following an explosion that caused one of the shafts to collapse trapping the three miners. The first miner rescued was Hugo Araya who only suffered minor injuries and helped in the rescue attempt of his nephew Jordan.
The third miner, identified as Jorge Jiménez, was taken to the local hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.
The mine had been temporarily closed by local authorities in October last year for security reasons and was undergoing repairs. It had not been given the official go-ahead to resume activities; however, according to workers at the mine, minerals were being extracted without authorization.
The accident follows a series of other mining disasters in Chile, most notably the collapse of the San José mine near Copiapó in early August last year that left 33 miners trapped 2200 feet underground and had the world follow the day-by-day rescue attempt that lasted 69 days.
One month later, another accident at the Los Reyes mine, 31 miles northeast of Copiapó, took the lives of two miners and injured a third as a result of a premature dynamite explosion.