05-05-2014 mining.com, Cecilia Jamasmie |
The death toll in a collapse at an illegal gold mine in western Colombia has climbed to at least 12 with an additional four feared dead, as searchers continued to dig for bodies on Monday.
Local newspaper El Nacional reports (in Spanish) that rescue workers on Sunday had to dig through 20 meters of heavy debris to reach victims of the rock fall that happened Wednesday night in the rural town of Santander de Quilichao, about 300 km southwest of Bogota, the capital.
Colombian authorities have ruled out the chance of finding any survivors.
Accidents like this are unfortunately frequent in Colombia, especially at wildcat mines dominated by criminal gangs.
From the 14,000 gold mines operating in Colombia, it is believed that about 50% are illegal operations with some 4,000 miners working for gangs and terrorist groups.
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