Death toll in Colombia coal mine blast rises to 21

The death toll from Tuesday’s coal mine blast in the Colombian
department of Cundinamarca has risen to 21 after the bodies of 10
trapped miners were found, Colombian President Gustavo Petro said
Thursday, Trend
reports citing Xinhua.

“I have just been informed by the governor … that despite all
rescue efforts, unfortunately 21 people lost their lives in this
tragic accident in Sutatausa,” the president wrote on his Twitter

“Labor and business restructuring plans in coal mining areas
have become increasingly essential. Each worker death is not only a
business failure, but also a social and governmental failure,” he

Cundinamarca Governor Nicolas Garcia said the rescuers had
sighted the 10 bodies and had begun the extraction process.

He said families of the victims will have the full support of
the government with social and psychological services, as well as
economic aid.

Eight of the nine miners who survived the explosion were treated
in hospital and later discharged, while the ninth remained under
observation, according to Cundinamarca fire captain Alvaro

Farfan said the National Mining Agency will begin an
investigation to determine the cause of the blast in the
interconnected mines belonging to the Minminer company, which have
been in operation for 30 years.

The National Mining Agency said it has ordered the suspension of
Minminer’s activities, and initiated an evaluation of the state of
the mines after the explosion.

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