The Colombian authorities confirmed that at least 11 workers from a coal mine died in the town of Sutatausa, Cundinamarca, in the center of the country, after an explosion was recorded in the tunnel, on the night of Tuesday, March 14. At least 10 other people remain trapped underground.
Rescue teams are working against the clock to try to get 10 trapped workers out of a coal mine in Colombia alive.
At least 11 other miners died after a strong explosion was recorded in the tunnel, located in Sutatausa, in the Cundinamarca department near the country’s capital.
The president, Gustavo Petro, stressed that the authorities are carrying out “all efforts with the government of Cundinamarca to rescue the trapped people alive”.
What happened in the Sutatausa mine was an unfortunate tragedy, where 11 people died. We are making every effort with the Cundinamarca government to rescue the trapped people alive. A hug of solidarity to the victims and their families.
— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) March 15, 2023
At the time of the detonation, around 30 men were at the scene. Two of them were rescued and seven managed to get out by their own means.
Those who remain trapped are “between 700 and 900 meters” underground, assured the governor of the region, Nicolás García, who added that more than 100 rescuers are in the place.
Lifeguards from the National Mining Agency (ANM), firefighters, the Red Cross, Civil Defense and other organizations joined the rescue efforts in the municipality.
The events took place on Tuesday night in the rural area, some 75 kilometers north of Bogotá, at a time when the workers were carrying out exploitation activities.
According to the captain of the Cundinamarca Department Firefighters, Álvaro Farfán, quoted by the local press, the explosion occurred due to an accumulation of gases, which caused “a chain reaction” that affected five other mines that were connected to each other. Yeah.
In Colombia, these types of serious accidents are common in open pit coal and gold mines and in underground tunnels, mainly in illegal or informal operations and without adequate security measures.
With Reuters and local media